Sunday, March 15, 2015

PLOT LIKE YOU MEAN IT ~ BY RITA KARNOPP

What should you know about plotting a book?  Ask any writer and I’ll bet you’ll find a majority of them will admit – plotting is their favorite part of writing.
Plot is the writer’s choice of incidents to use to unfold the story of the character’s development and growth toward their goal or desire.   Wow that was a mouth full!  Let’s make some sense outta that!

Create plots and characters that are believable and work together.

It takes a series of conflicts to create a good plot.

·         Every scene should have incident, change, and conflict.  If a scene has no conflict, either delete it or create some.
o   Even small conflict must contribute to the changes your character will undergo.

·         People are defined by the choices they make under stress.  Great information to remember if you’re writing a suspense or thriller.

·         Make sure you aren’t adding meaningless action for reaction sake.   Keep in mind that the reader has to care about what is happening to the people in your story. 

Unfortunately I can’t say I’m perfect . . . bet you can’t either.  So, why would we want to create perfect characters?  Well, we shouldn’t.  The protagonist should have strengths and weaknesses.  He should also fail, and maybe not just once but several times before succeeding.  Failure builds conflict and emotions.

When you’re plotting keep in mind that your story is only as interesting as the characters make it – both the protagonist and the antagonist.

When I say a book was great – it’s usually because it surprised me.  I’m actually disappointed when I figure the plot out.

Never fall into the coincidence trap.  It’s a cop-out – you know it and so does the reader.

And finally, while plotting make sure you enrich your book with layer upon layer of internal and external conflict.  Create the mental or emotional struggles that occur within a character.  Build the struggle that occurs between a character and outside forces, which could be another character or the environment.


My next blog – let’s discuss the difference between event and character driven plots.

1 comment:

Jamie Hill said...

The element of surprise is so important, Rita. I've been doing some editing lately and have noticed sometimes newer authors don't put as much thought into this as they should. In romantic suspense, you can't drop hints all along who the killer is and then have him actually turn out to be the killer!

Also I read a story recently with no conflict. The couple was happy. They met, they dated, had lots of sex, got married, had a child, etc. Ended with them living happily ever after! I kept waiting for something to happen!

Great post Rita.

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