Writers! Plotting Your Plot Can Be Learned!

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There are countless ideas for a plot but not all of them are worth writing about.

Answers from Elena Ornig

Writing Plot And Finding IdeasTo feel an insight that you are a writer is not enough to become a successful writer. You need much more in order to become a successful writer. You need motivation, determination, discipline and most of all, persistence. The same applies to plotting a Plot!

Plotting a Plot means planning a Plot in order to unite with the readers through intricately and powerfully designed sets of actions, reactions and resolutions. What is happening? Why is it happening? What is the course of conflict and how it will be resolved?

These questions are systematic and apply for every possible Plot. If you think you can just create fascinating characters without a powerful Plot – Think again! Characters are able to play only a supporting role to the Plot, where the Plot is the engine that drives the actions of your characters, reactions of your characters, clashes between your characters in a conflict and guides them towards resolution. Why are people thrilled to have a Ferrari?  It has a beautiful design and exceptional characteristics – but the real reason people love a Ferrari is because of its powerful engine. Powerful engine means they can experience powerful action, reaction and resolution (feeling of satisfaction).

A plot is like a puzzle, where readers are introduced to that puzzle and get hooked in order to put all the pieces together to oversee the whole picture. How do they get hooked? Like everyone else – through a perplexing maze of surging action. Something happened, like the Big Bang, and we all are still bewildered: What was that and why? With the Scientist, the leading heroes (army of protagonists) in a real life novel we are addicted to, know the ending. Their objective is clear – to sort out this puzzle; and we feel for them because we also want to know the answer. We feel for them because we hear and live through their blows and delays, impediments and dilemmas. We share their anticipation in reaching for that climax for the past 80 years, since 1931, when Lemaître (a Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain) published an article in Nature, setting out his theory of the “primeval atom”. Have we lost the interest to know the ending? Not at all, we are addicted since we were hooked by the Big Bang theory. Why are we still waiting patiently and reading all the latest publications?  For one reason only – we want to know the answer. We hope for the ending in order to feel satisfied, regardless of such a long journey. That is all because the Big Bang (action and reaction) is a powerful engine with an anticipated resolution.

So, in planning your Plot, think about surging action towards a climax and final resolution. The more desirable the objective of your Protagonist and the more robust your Antagonist is, can help you to create a spectacularly clashing conflict, resulting in powerful action and reaction; thereby causing readers to anticipate the ending (resolution), with even higher interest. Add to your Plot excellent settings, superior characters, impactful scenes and radiant dialogues. Follow the story structure.

Diagram was taken from”If By Yes” Blog. Just to show different example of Plot structure.
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Plotting Novel's Plot

In the beginning, introduce the time, the setting, your main character (Antagonist) and his objective. Introduce his abstractive opposition (Protagonist), introduce conflict and capture the emotions of the readers. Hook them!

In the middle, develop the conflict and increase confrontation between your main characters by forcing them to show their best and their worst of human nature. Create complexity (mini crises, internal crises and dilemmas), in order to penetrate into the profound meaning of your main theme. Prepare readers for the last battle by amplifying tensions and lead them towards the unavoidable climax.

In the end bring a climax to final resolution of the conflict and conclude a moral of your story. Give readers the desirable feeling of satisfaction by finally putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Where do you find your ideas for the Plot? You find them in life in general, and believe it or not, within yourself. How? By the same profound method – create a set of questions and answer them. For example, ask yourself:

  • What are you intrigued by in life in general or what are most people in the world curious about?  (Political corruption, Military, Financial crisis, Immigration, Global warming, UFO)
  • What questions in your personal life confuse you the most and what questions do people around the world seem to be baffled with? (Relationship, Crime, Justice, Love, Revenge, Betrayal, Conspiracy, Freedom)
  • What philosophical questions of life do you try to answer and what do other people in the world question in the philosophy of life? (Meaning of life, Ethics, Moral, Capital punishment, War, Abortion)

There are countless ideas for the Plot, and of course, not all of them are worth writing about. What is important for you, the writer, to understand is that the best idea for the Plot is the one you personally really care about, are intrigued by, and know or believe that you can answer.

My warmest regards,
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Written by Elena Ornig

Managing Director of Publishing Company "Julia Sophistique Pty Ltd". Committee member of Australian Computer Association GC Chapter. Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Member of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland. Member of the IT Forum Gold Coast. Sponsor of the Helensvale Writers' Group, Gold Coast. Committee member of the Gold Coast Writers Association Honored VIP Member of STANFORD WHO'S WHO in America. Publisher, writer and blogger.

Website: http://www.elenaornig.com/