This week, we’ve been looking at the backbone of fiction writing: your plot. Every story you create must have a plot, defined as: “the main events of a play, novel, movie, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.” The keyword is “interrelated.” Unlike real life, in fiction everything has a reason, and every action has consequences.
Your plot arises from character. However, your plot isn’t character; your plot happens when your primary character is forced to take action. We could discuss plotting forever, but your writing is what counts. Your writing will change you; it always does.
Here’s what we covered this week.
Emotion: the Secret of Successful Plots.
In 5 Fiction Writing Tips: Emotion SELLS, we said:
If you can get a fix on what readers want, you can give it to them. Readers made the Fifty Shades of Grey series the publishing blockbuster that it is. Publishers jumped on that romance erotica bandwagon long after it started rolling. Why? Emotion. Fifty Shades aroused specific emotions. Fiction is all about EMOTION. Make readers feel, and your fiction will sell.
If you remember that fiction is all about emotion, you won’t go far astray with your plotting.
The End Is in the Beginning – Two Tips for Great Story Beginnings.
Story beginnings… Writers tend to waste a lot of time kicking off their stories.
A tip: in your first draft, don’t worry about your story’s beginnings. Too many writers spend days on a “great” beginning. Usually this wonderful beginning doesn’t get used because the story changes as you write it. Work on your beginning in your second draft.
Read the article for the two essentials you need to include in every story’s beginning.
What if You Could Find Ready-Made Plots?
In Fiction Tips: Finding Ready-Made Plots, we said:
It would be lovely if a plot were handed to you. They can be, if you know where to look. Shakespeare wasn’t big on original plots. As Shakespeare Online says: “With the exception of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Tempest, which are wholly original stories, Shakespeare borrowed his plots, down to fine detail.” If the bard can do it, you can too.
Read the article for sources of ready-made plots.
Secrets to Plotting Series of Ebooks.
Plotting a short story or a novel is all very well. But what if you want to plot a series?
A series of ebooks – this applies to nonfiction too – have SOMETHING which ties them together. For example, in a series I’m ghostwriting for a client, every story in the series takes place in one small town. So, we have recurring characters, seasonal events which take place in the town, and threats to the town from various sources.
Read the article for more on plotting series.
If You’re Just Starting on Your Fiction Journey…
Plotting can seem very esoteric when you’re just starting to write fiction.
My best fiction writing tip: just write. Take the basics of plotting on board, but don’t worry about them while you’re in the process of writing. It took me YEARS to understand plotting. Have fun with your writing. 🙂
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