Wednesday, November 5, 2014


First comes the idea.

Then the idea grows into a concept, then comes plot.

The plot begins to form and thicken into a full blown short story or novel.

What the heck is a plot and how do you know what the plot is before you even begin writing?

I have tossed around these very questions over and over again. I've read a myriad of books like The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson (an awesome book), 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias (very informative) and several others.

Grasping a plot is essential to writing a complete short story and/or novel. The main character must go through a change, internal or external. He/she must have conflict and resolve that conflict by the end of the story/novel with the character learning something, gaining something, or even dying.

All plots need good, strong emotional characters; a beginning, middle and end; dramatic action; scenes; and thematic purpose where the main character experiences some emotional breakthrough or understanding. He/or she must undergo this change to resolve the story.

In order to understand how to write a good plot you must read The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson. For short stories check out Donna Ippolito's blog and click on Characters and Plot—a very informative article.

You stir and mix and simmer until the plot thickens and Voila you have a finished short story/novel you can be proud to have written.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

David P. King said...

I'll have to look into that. Plots aren't hard for me to come by, but then again I have surrounded myself with so many stories since a young age, maybe I absorbed some of that? :)