Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Do You Have a Good Plot?

I haven't posted a writing-related entry in awhile, so I thought it was high time. Here's a great question for any writer: How do you know if your plot is good? Or rather, how do you create a good plot? And by 'good plot' I mean something readers can get behind, cheer for, wait with baited breath to see if it works out in the end.

spot illustration from A Shadow Story
If you google 'crafting a good plot' you come up with a lot of helpful websites and information, but some of us didn't read all of those when we first started. We just wrote. That's what I did. I trusted my gut and I pantsed my first novel. I also read avidly, and wrote for practice years beforehand.

If we're new to writing, we can't always trust our gut. What we think is the most amazing plot ever written can fall flat to agents and publishers. So, how do you know when a plot is good?

One thing I think it takes to craft a good plot is a compelling conflict. The main character wants something that's hard to achieve. But more than that, it should be a sympathetic goal. The reader wants it for her. The more difficult it is, the more she and the reader wants it, the more satisfying it is when it's finally achieved.

What do you think it takes to make a good plot?

4 comments:

  1. I really hope I have a good plot! I pantsed like mad then did a looooooot of editing. My beta readers seemed to enjoy it too.

    In a nutshell, as long as there's something in the plot a reader can relate to and characters they can connect with, you've got a good story.

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  2. A good plot can benefit a lot from a good villain. That's where I'd start.

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  3. If I had to sum up "good plot" in as few words as possible, I would say this: relentless, escalating conflict, and high stakes that the reader can get emotional about. As an intense plotter, I find it hard to judge whether my plot is exciting or not.

    That's where beta readers come in. :)

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  4. Can I say, I've never honestly thought about if I've had a 'good plot' before. I'm terrible. I get an idea an my head and if it's strong enough that it won't let me go, I run with it. It seems to be working so far as I haven't had complaints in the plot department, but one of these days it may just come back to bite me.

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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