Plottin’ Things

And our word for today is…

plot (dictionary.com)

noun: a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, especially a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot to overthrow the government.

Also called storyline: the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.

verb (used with object), plot·ted, plot·ting.: to plan secretly, especially something hostile or evil: to plot mutiny, to mark on a plan, map, or chart, as the course of a ship or aircraft.

verb (used without object), plot·ted, plot·ting.: to plan or scheme secretly; form a plot; conspire, to devise or develop a literary or dramatic plot.

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I do love a good vocabulary word. There might be a test later. Make sure you can spell it correctly. One thing we know from the definition above is that a plot is a plan and plans have more than one step. Yes, you could say your plan is to kill the Governor, Mayor, or nanny, but how? The how is the plot. Does this mean absolute action every step of the way? No. I would get tired reading a book that was nonstop action. Thinking is an action. Watching is an action.

Bob Mayer THE NOVEL WRITER'S TOOLKIT A Guide to Writing Novels and ...

Speaking of hard work. I think is time for our coffee break. I need a refill and I’m sure you are up for a nibble. I made Nova Scotia Oat Cake. It’s really good. Help yourself to a piece. While you do that, I’m gonna run the vacuum over the reading rug. I think I need to get it cleaned again. It’s gettin’ kinda nasty. Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer. There is still plenty of time to get a copy. We are only on page 77 out of 228.

Action moves the story. Simply having your character walk out to their car, get in, and drive away, moves your story. Why did they leave? Where are they going? What will happen when they get there? See, movement. Sometimes your characters act and sometimes they react. Either way, it is movement in your plot.

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Mr. Mayer suggests you have an idea of what your climax is before you sit down to write sentence one. It makes since if you think about it. You kinda have to know where you are going and how to get there.  Hey, you use Google Maps to get somewhere you are unfamiliar with. What makes you think you don’t need directions to get to the climactic scene in your story? The directions will keep you focused on getting from point A to point Climax.

Be aware of time. Time moves forward where memories jump backward. It’s not wrong to use flashbacks and memories but remember these interrupt your time flow. Make sure they are in the right place and can be drifted out of easily.

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Show. Don’t Tell

As you move forward in your writing, you will here this over, and over, and over…until you want to scream. Sadly, it is something we need to be reminded of. There are moments where it is fine to tell your reader in one sentence what could take an entire chapter showing it. The line between Show-vs-Tell is a blurred one. Tell is a summary of what happened where show involves the five senses.

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#1. Avoid the info dump: Lead with your plot not a ton of information. Information can be fed to your readers slowly while they read the plotted story.

#2. Match your storytelling and your info leaks at the same pace: What?! Simple. Stay with me here. If you are in the middle of a dramatically fast paced scene, throwing in a slow memory or flashback is like slamming on the breaks in a high-speed chase. It interrupts the story’s pace.

#3. Try to always show action: Summarizing action is boring. Show that punch being thrown and connecting with your MC’s jaw. Don’t tell us about it later.

#4. ALWAYS show the climax in the book: AND have both the protagonist and antagonist in the scene. It’s the faceoff your readers have been waiting for.

Are you ready to get into the process? Up next is Starting Your Novel.

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GET THE BOOK! There are diagrams and appendix info you are missing out on. I can only do so much here. You have to do your part and follow along.

Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.

Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.

Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.

I’m always looking for new friends!

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