Monday, March 21, 2011

Escape Plot:

Now we will look at the Master Plot: Escape

Last week we looked at Rescue. Escape is opposite rescue. The protagonist is in trouble. This is not an escape from any internal problems or drug or family relationships, this is a physical plot. Our hero is captured and must escape. She isn’t going to sit around and wait for Mr. Perfect to come to her aid. Oh no, she is full of ideas on how to achieve her freedom.

To set this up you need three acts in which the hero is captured and imprisoned. Next her plans and how she fails, once, twice, whatever your story calls for. Last, her escape.

The reader knows this plot. Your challenge is to make it interesting. My guess is that real life has taken some nasty turns that we can use in this plot. I’m thinking about bullies. There is nothing new about the bully as a character. But in today’s world, there is plenty new about the level to which they have fallen. Just remember, that like the Rescue Plot, the Escape Plot is physical. There must be an actual hostage scenario that our hero has fallen into. She or he must attempt freedom and lastly must achieve it. If you want to turn the tables and have the hero capture and imprison the antagonist, you can do so.

In the Escape Plot, we do not need complicated characters. It is straightforward. But like anything we do, we need to remember to make our hero believable.

If you’ve missed any of the “Plot” post go here.

For a more in-depth look at the Rescue Plot and others I recommend that you purchase: 20 Master Plots and how to build them, by Ronald B. Tobias.

Amazon link:

Next week’s Master Plot is: Revenge

Do you plan on writing a Escape Plot?


Al said...

Rescue and escape are both brilliant plot tools.

Joanne said...

I like the idea of the hostage turning the tables and capturing the antagonist. It seems like a scene that you could have lots of fun writing.

N. R. Williams said...

I agree, Al.

It does sound like fun, Joanne. I'm working on a novella now with an undetermined end and I might just do that.

Thank you both for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Misha said...

Hmm... I wonder if I'll ever do an escape plot. Sounds interesting though.


Love the new look.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Misha. It's spring so I had to do flowers.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Haven't used that one yet, either.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by.

Holly Ruggiero said...

This makes me think all every disaster film ever made. No real character development but lots of action and hurdles to overcome.

N. R. Williams said...

You're so right, Holly.

Tony Benson said...

Excellent - escape is a classic plot theme. I think it can go beyond the physical in as much as it may be, for example, some psychological 'cage' that has to be escaped. Nonetheless, there are always physical aspects to the bondage such as interactions with other people, so to ground it as always physical does have some meaning.

Madeleine said...

Great post, thought provoking :O)

Margo Benson said...

Always food for thought over here. I once saw an amazing production of King Lear where, instead of 'the storm' being physical, it all took place in his head...a rage between physical and mental. Lots to think about.

N. R. Williams said...

I agree, Tony.

It does provoke our writers' minds, Madeleine.

Thank you both for dropping by and leaving a comment.

N. R. Williams said...

That would be cool, Margo. Only a well developed character and writer skills could pull that off.

Dominic de Mattos said...

These are really great for focussing the mind Nancy.

I now have this unnecessarily complicated plot forming in my mind with a dual POV where one protagonist is attempting a rescue while the other is attempting an escape - but which will get there first? What will happen if hero #1 finally arrives in the prison only to find heroine#2 already gone and the antagonist jumping up and down?!!!


Donna Hole said...

My MC's escaped from the police, but it was more of a "chase and evade" I think.

Hmm, I may use escape in my fantasy novel - if I ever return to writing on it.

Good points to keep in mind.


N. R. Williams said...

Good twist, Dom.

I think we are all trying to find which plot works best for which characters, Donna. Good luck.

Thank you both for stopping by.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Escape... Very intriguing.

I haven't written one in either of my novels. Perhaps in the sequel I plan to do for my current novel.

Thanks for the advise, Nancy. I like this plot series that you are doing. Every writer needs this information.

And thanks for the warm wishes for ABNA tomorrow. I appreciate you kindness.


N. R. Williams said...

You're welcome, Michael. I'm glad you like this series.