January 4, 2008, Newsletter Issue #143: Plot

Tip of the Week

A good plot always traces back to character elements. Characters find themselves in situations and must act and react to those situations as best they can. Consider this as you construct the plot of your story.

As a pre-writing exercise, make a list of situations your character might find him or herself in. Then, in a separate column, try and predict what might happen BASED ON WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CHARACTER.

Example:

Situation
_____________

Louis walks into a bar and finds his wife having a drink with his business partner.

Plot
______________

Because Louis has a history of violence and with distrusting women, and because his wife has been unfaithful to him in the past, he decks the business partner and drags the wife out kicking and screaming. He gives her a black eye in the parking lot.

This has story potential, because Louis´ actions--justified or not--come from his internal motivations.

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