Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group, Plot

Greetings everyone. It's time for the ISWG post, created by Alex J. Cavanauh. Great idea don't you think? If you would like to read what others have written in this insecure bloghop click here.

For my submission I'm going to talk about plot.

Oh yeah, plot.

I have never liked the word 'plot.' Sorry but it sounds too much like plop.  So what do you do? Do you plop down a plot? I mean, really. Couldn't we find a more descriptive word to discuss and use to replace the word plot?

What about the word structure? Doesn't a good story have structure? Every detail in it's place. Mapped out to perfection, or at least an attempt at perfection?

Or how about the word framework? When you build a house it must have the frame in place before you can put up the walls, paint it, clean it and arrange furniture.

I recently received a critique about a story I wrote that said I didn't have a plot. It's a romance. You know, boy meets girl, love and marriage. Isn't that the plot of a romance? I don't know. I don't usually write romance. 

I had a book on plot and I wanted to re-read it, but we have moved so many times in the last four years that I fear it has been lost or packed away in a mysterious box. So for now I will just ask the questions above.

Advice is welcome. What do you think?

I am looking for experienced critique partners. I have more than 25 years of experience to offer you. Let me know in the comments if you're interested.

If you would like to read my epic fantasy, 'The Treasure of Carmelidrium,' click the link on the right hand side below the book cover. A reveiw is appreciated.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - I know what moving is like and 'losing' things somewhere ... perhaps still unpacked and boxed away.

I hope you find your book sometime soon - the more I see about 'how to write' a novel the more I learn of the intricacies and difficulties ..

Good luck with your writing .. cheers Hilary

Sarah Foster said...

Hmm, I would think the plot of a romance would definitely revolve around the relationship of the characters. Does the relationship come too easy for your characters? If there's a happy ending, maybe they need to work harder or go through more bad things in order to get to it. Without all the details, I can't be sure. Hope you figure it out!

Sarah Foster
August IWSG Co-host

Chrys Fey said...

Now that you mention it "plot" is a funny word.

For a romance, the main plot certainly is boy meeting girl and the two of them falling in love, but there has to be some other stuff going on (sub-plots). What are your characters lives like outside of their romance? Do they run into any problems romantically? Does one of them have a troubled past he/she has to work through? Does someone try to split them apart (like an ex coming into the picture)? These things could add more to a story.

You could try to read some romance books by popular authors, and take notes of what goes on in the story aside from the romance. This will help you figure out what else you could do for your story.

Good luck!!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
I'm sure I will.

Hi Sarah
Yes indeed, I'm a happy ending sort of person. Oops, have I given too much away?

N. R. Williams said...

Good ideas Chrys, thanks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I always thought the romance itself was the plot. But I don't read it, so don't know for certain.

M Pax said...

From my romance friends, I know the plot is boy meets girl, problems ensue, but there's an HEA.

They talk about obstacles and dark moments. They have a fairly standard structure they use.

I'm reading one by my friend write now, How to Handle a Troublemaker by Marie Harte.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I don't know much about the romance plots either, but I'm impressed you took one on.

N. R. Williams said...

Nice to see you Alex, M. and Holly

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy. I'm not sure which story you're talking about and if I've seen it, but Chrys is right. There is boy meets girl, but it does not reach its happy ending until many obstacles are overcome. Do some googling of romance plots. I've got a great romance writers beat sheet from Jamie Gold -- if you google 'romance beat sheet' hers should come up top of the list. You can change the number of words and the sheet will automatically calculate the pages...problems...etc you need for your story to work.

Hope this helps. I've written about romance in my IWSG post this week.


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Denise, I'll do that.

Donna Hole said...

Ahem; I think I prefer the term "framework" to plot. I'm a stickler for structure; but that doesn't mean I know how to get there in my own writing.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
I agree.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi, Nancy! Your post sure made me laugh! The art of plopping out a plot... buahahahah!! I like "framework" I do...

I hope you find a good critique partner. I've missed you!


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks.