plot

What is plot?

Plot is whatever happens in a story. Plot is built on significant events in a given story. They are significant because they have important consequences. Unimportant events, such as closing a door or braiding your hair are incidents. They don’t have important consequences, unless you are Rapunzel, in which case they are crucial actions. So what makes plot? Cause and effect. On event leads to another event.

coincidence

Plot vs. Coincidence; the sign of a bad writer

Coincidences happen every day in real life. In fact, things happen against all odds, every second of every day. So why shouldn’t you have a coincidence happen in your book? You can, if you do it right, if it’s meaningful. But if you’re not carefully laying foundations for your plot then your characters end up as nothing but puppets dragged around by strings.

act III: end

Act III: How to write the End

At this point, the reader has felt and seen the forces gather against the protagonist. Absolute disaster is just around the corner. The way you set up the story up to this point, determines the expectation readers have about how it will end. For them, it’s more than an expectation, it’s a silent promise you made. A noisy action packed story promised a big bang at the end. A subtle story promised a quiet ending.

From idea to manuscript in 12 easy steps

Part 1: Develop your idea
Step 1: Decide which genre you want to write in.

How do you know what genre you should write in? Easy, the genre you love to read. This is the genre you are most familiar with, with ready examples to look back on if you need a little help and most importantly, you should write a story you’d love to read. Walk over to your bookcase (or e-book reader of choice) and pick up the books you have read with the most passion. What genre are they? That’s the one for you.

lock

Guide: Lock (a Story Plotting System)

Formulaic writing is done, because it works. There are guidelines that, when understood, will help you write a solid plot every single time. Those guidelines are part of LOCK, which stands for Lead, Objective, Confrontation and Knock-out. This system will serve you your entire writing career.

Writing a plot summary

Plot summaries are once (max two) sentences that somehow describe the gist of your plot. The plot summary tells your readers what to expect, what sort of story it is and who the protagonist is. Preferably it describes the beginning, middle and ending somehow. This represents the core of your story and should be expressible in very few words but compassing many pages.