Monday, July 28, 2008

How to Devlop Your Plot

Creative Writing demands a level of organization dictated by the complexity of your plot line. I have heard that there are only seven different plot lines, with thirty-six variations. Yours could be unique but it will still need to follow the fundamental rules if you are going to keep your readers for the whole journey.

How To Devlop Your Plot

You must have all the information about: Who, Why, Where, When and How, before you start.

Who. Know your characters. Decide what personality traits they bring to the story. Know their history. Know what motivates them, their favorite foods their deepest secret, their first kiss, their worst nightmare.

Why are they in the situation of the story you are writing? History and back story are vital. Even if you don't use any of your ideas in the story, you must know why events are unfolding and the reasons must be convincing. Fantasy plots might not be in the realm of believability, but if they don't convince the reader, you're wasting your time. So, the 'why' everything happens is vital.

Where is your story set. Close your eyes, if you can't see where the scene is happening, do more research. Find a photo, film or dream until the dust is gritty and the wind chills your blood. IF you can't imagine where your story is taking place . . . don't expect your readers to follow you.

When, is pretty much covered by where. Set the time line . . . then don't add modern slang to a period piece or localized knowledge to a fantasy world. Keep your artifacts accurate as far as possible. Don't have knight's nuking their prey or off world wizard's chewing gum.

bulletHow, is the most important ingredient in your plot. Take notes and keep track of all the hows as your create your world. Show how your characters react to every situation.
bulletYour hero must resolve the dilemma (conflict) they face.
They must grow, through conflict, adversity or discovery and gathered knowledge.
bulletYour plot must include the how the protagonist and the antagonist resolve their tales.
bulletPlot how does the adventure leads into the climax
Decide if and how the climax will resolve all the problems presented.
bulletMake certain all the loose ends of the plot and sub plots are resolved.

Before you complete your plot, make sure your plot resolves all of these points. Then you are ready to write, and your characters have a field in which to come to life.

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