Monday, March 1, 2010


Good morning - it's officially the first day of spring, and the first sunshiney day for, it seems, aeons. The sky is virgin blue, the clouds mere whisps of cotton wool and it's time to look into more Plotting

If like many people, you think that for 'real' writers, the business of plotting comes effortlessly, forget it. The majority of writers have to study the elements of plot and pay serious attention to constructing the narrative and viewpoint most appropriate for their story.

Your main character, the protagonist, must encounter a conflict - with another character, society, nature him or herself or come conbination of these things - and undergo a change as a result. Conflict, also known as 'the major dramatic question' is the basis of plot.

Elements of Plot:

The Introduction: presents the central conflict as well as the characters and the setting. In modern fiction, it is necessary for the writer to involve the protagonist in conflict as early as possible.

Rising Action or Development: Is where the character faces various impediments to his or her goal. Learn to build dramatic tension; to keep readers interested with twists and turns which will lead to:

The Climax which is the turning point in the story, the pivot on which your story hinges. Climax is the resolution of conflict, the point of no return beyond which the protagonist's fate - be it good or bad - is secured.

In the Denoument, the author ties up the loose ends.

Plotting all sounds so simple, doesn't it? In some ways it is and in other ways it's not.

A helpful tip is to identify the basic elements in your reading, to question why the writer decided to tell the story the way he or she did. The important thing for you, the writer, to remember, is that something has to happen. It may seem elementary but it can be quite complicated. By all means experiment, but spend time on the basics, too.

Good plotting, and in the meantime if you want to make contact the address is:

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