Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration- A Basic Plot Form

While reading On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner, I came across this bit about a basic plot. "A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition (perhaps including his own doubts), and so arrives at a win, lose or draw."

That makes sense for a short story since it's a simple thing. In a novel, there are more than just that. Other characters may be central to the story. Think about a romance with the hero and heroine for each of them may want love but they do not necessarily, in the beginning words want romance with each other, Look at the detective story. The detective and the criminal both want something but they are opposite desires. So what does the author do when looking at win, lose or draw.

The opposition in a story can come from other characters, from the sub-plots devised, what's happening in the environment and the character's own personality. While pondering the bit about win, lose or draw. Most romances end in a draw with each of the characters receiving what they sought. Not always but crime stories end in a win for the good guy and a lose for the bad guy.

Consider what happens when the story takes a twist. The hero and heroine in a romance don't end up happily ever after. You have Romeo and Juliet. So when working on your story try to remember the elements that make up the basic plot and turn those elements to fit the needs of your characters.


Melissa Keir said...

Or you can let the characters run the story :)

Calisa Rhose said...

My characters usually tend to write their own win, lose or draw story.