Friday, January 14, 2011

Plots - Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is more about saving a plot. No matter what plot line is chosen there are six elements that must be considered and developed when checking the plot. If one of these six is weak or not considered the plot will fall flat.

Who - this is the characters in the story and they must fit the design. I've been struggling with a hero who has rejected all the heroines I've given him. None of them offered what he wanted. So your characters must belong in the plot and belong to each other. Even the bad guys must be the right ones.

When is the second element. This is time. The day, month, year, era, all have an effect on the plot. Using the wrong words in an historical can stop a reader. The values of people change with the time. So time is important.

Where is the third element. This is the setting and shows the place of the action. There is a difference between city, small town, country. A difference between the slums and a manor house. The setting adds flavor to a story and if the wrong one is chosen, the plot will fail.

What is the goals of the characters. Just what is their desire. Choosing a small goal won't drive the characters to tell an interesting story. Each of the major characters in a story must have a strong desire and if they are in opposition, you have the making of a great story.

Why means motivation. Why has the hero, heroine, villain chosen a particular goal. This needs to be as strong as the goal. Weak motivation doesn't drive the characters to tell a great story.

The last element is how. These are the steps taken to by the characters in the story to reach a goal. and this involves action and reaction that calls for further scenes.

Next week there will be more on plot. Now that the major elements are in place it will be time to take care of the small cracks that can break the plot.

1 comment:

Wendy S Marcus said...

Wonderful post, Janet. I'll keep it in mind as I work on book 2!