Friday, June 10, 2011

Plot it Out

With the weekend around the corner I figured I'd share a little plot fun... or at least how to plot for those who are having trouble. I do a lot of my writing and revising on the weekends, I know not every blogger is the same but nonetheless below I'll share some tips on plotting and how to get the story going.

A story's plot is what happens in the story and the order it happens in.

Something that goes from point A to B.

Changes such as:

A physical event (Point A = Psycho killer is picking off everyone in town. Point B = police arrest the killer).
A decision (Point A = character wants to practice law like his father. Point B = character decides to be a ballet dancer).
A change in relationship (Point A = They hate each other. Point B = They fall in love).
A change in person (Point A = character is a selfish jerk. Point B = character has learned to be less of a selfish jerk.)
A change in the reader's understasnding of a situation. (Point A =  character appears to be a murderer. Point B = The reader realizes that character is actually innocent and made a false confession.)

What does your plot look like? What genre do you write? Any tips you found while working on your plot? What works for you?

24 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

I write romance. Try to first do the big turning points - according to James Scott Bell's three acts in his book Plot and Structure. From there, I try to plot scene/sequel.

Candyland said...

My plot is similar to this, though I generally use the three or five act structure to nail it down. Ha...I said nail it.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Good post Jen!!! I can see you hovering over your writing materials, your brain working a million miles a minute while you plot like a madwoman. It's a cute image:)

Thomasina said...

Nice post girl! I'm still working on my plot, but my goal is to have my mc go from selfish to loving.

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm not a plotter, just a natural genius. Lol Ok, not really. Love the way you plan. I always map my novel via summary, making sure my plot gets from point A to B, and then the little subplots form.

salarsenッ said...

This is pretty similar to what I do. I usually start out with three acts then build and tweak from there. :)

Christina Lee said...

This is a good way to look at it!! Yep same here, then get down to the nitty gritty basic three act structure with turning points (which is pretty impressive for a mostly pantser)!

Susan Fields said...

I'm trying to plot a new novel right now and having a really hard time with it! Plotting has always been one of the biggest challenges for me. Mostly I try to study books I love and see how their plots work.

Creepy Query Girl said...

i'm currently working on a YA romantic comedy and the plotting is HARD because you don't need as much action in a romance as you do in other genres but you still have to keep the reader turning the pages.

Jimmie Hammel said...

I don't do acts. I start my outline with two things. The beginning and the end. I write down the inciting incident and then I just start listing the series of actions that my character will take to try to get herself out of her predicament, while steadily making it worse. Once I get stuck, I write the ending at the bottom of another sheet of paper and then work my way backwards trying to figure out how my character managed to screw everything up so badly. Eventually I'm left with my GFH, the big hole in the middle of my plot. I fill it in by taking a break from my outline to create detailed character profiles and then I use that info to torture my character until I get her where she's supposed to be.

Beth said...

I usually start with a concept and a vague idea of the plot and let it develop as I write.
bethfred.com

Teenage Bride said...

hmmm makes so much more sense than it did in middle school haha

Em-Musing said...

Whine, whine, giggle giggle, whine, whine, whine, giggle giggle...FINALLY makes a change. Humorous women's fiction. :)

Marsha Sigman said...

Mine looks like this:

Beginning incident
Major event
Kill characters
Major event
Kill more charactters
Scream and rip up outline...

Beginning incident
Major event
Try not to kill all characters


You get the idea. Oh, and it's YA but dark paranormal. Have a great weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My latest work is a combination of physical event and change in person.

Meredith said...

Haha, they hate each other and then they love each other. That's my fave kind of book! My books tend to be about changes in people, though.

Jolene Perry said...

Starts with a single idea. I list out a few problems/roadblocks, and then just jump in. When I'm at like, the halfway point, that's when I sit down and really plot.

Jolene Perry said...

Oh! HA! I just read your sidebar - I'm doing a super-duper easy blogfest - just toss up a few lines of your current WIP -

Lovin the Language hosted by moi - june 27th.

http://jolenesbeenwriting.blogspot.com/2011/06/im-totally-hosting-my-first-ever.html

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

I think I am going to start including your blog in my homeschool writing curriculum. Both my girls want to write books some day. The tips you provide are fun and easy to follow, as so critical to writing. Thnaks. Don't worry, I will continue to pre-screen :)

Theresa Milstein said...

That really simplifies things, doesn't it?

The Tame Lion said...

Interesting and inspiring!
Absolutely wonderful!

San said...

Your A to B plots = ALL the reasons I LOVE a good book! Thanks for sharing :)

I've given you an award today on my blog :)

Cheers!

San :)

Lola X said...

Haha! Love it!

Lola x
http://lola-x.blogspot.com

Caitlin said...

Great post! When it all boils down to it that's pretty much how it goes. Crazy how what can be so complex and intricate, that when not done correctly can leave gaping "holes", can also be so inherently simple.