Writing exciting plot entails more than stuffing it with fighting scenes. The only way to make readers care about your story, is if they care about what happens to your main characters. There is something at stake and something to gain. Bring out the importance of seemingly small things leads to subtlety and drama. Large things clashing is melodrama. Plot means things happen, but you have to convince your readers that what happens, matters.
There can be an outer plot and an inner plot which in some sense mirrors and reinforces the outer plot or conflicts and contracts with it. Each may stand alone as the main focus of a necessary struggle played out through actions.
Struggle, conflict, dissatisfaction, aspiration and choice make the foundation of effective plot. Every story needs to be founded on an effective and strong-felt conflict. Opposing forces (could be people, ideas, attitudes, or a mix) are evenly matched to make the outcome uncertain. Often the opposing forces seem stronger, to create drama and suspense.
Is this an exciting plot? Check with these four questions:
- Is there truly a story to tell?
A good idea allows you to imagine your way into them. They are dynamic; going somewhere from the first moment they came into your head. It usually is something you care about or troubles you.
- Is it too personal?
Something can be too personal when it is very important to you but would reasonably bore a strange made to hear about it. Sometimes you are too close to the experience and can’t put it into perspective for someone else to view.
- Is it going somewhere?
Try to imagine a beginning scene, a few middle scenes and an ending. If you can’t imagine a few scenes then move on to a different idea.
- What’s at stake?
Is there something quite specific and vital at stake for one or more of the characters? Ask yourself what the central conflict is, the struggle of the plot. Then ask yourself how you can show why this is important to the character (in order to make your reader care about what happens).
The next step is simply writing. Start telling your story and don’t worry too much about the best opening or closing of it just yet. Write every day, set day-goals for yourself if that motivates you. Whatever you do, make sure you write every idea about your story that comes up.
Stories change as you tell them. The ideas evolve and it’s crucial that you let that happen, it makes for a richer and deeper story than you imagined possible at first.
Things to avoid:
- Motivation without opposition
- Opposition without determined contrary motivation (otherwise its just pure victimization)