1. Nadala
    Offline

    Nadala Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    7

    Plot lines

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Nadala, May 19, 2007.

    Hi guys I’m trying to write a plot out for a novel however I’m stuck. So here’s my dilemma have you all ever heard of a plot line before? Or ever used a plot line? I’ve tried a few times but the method I use is highly ineffective. Just wondering what set up you all use for plotting or if you don’t use a plot line at all. Tips, hints and sites would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ferret
    Offline

    Ferret Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.
    Just make it up as you go. That's what the Ferret does, and he's quite happy in that capacity.
     
  3. Nadala
    Offline

    Nadala Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    7
    I’ve done that a lot :-DI’ve actually never been able to finish a book that way. Though some of my greatest ideas have come that way. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Nadala,

    I'll give you my view on this. Maybe it will work for you.
    ***

    A plot line doesn't need to be overly detailed.

    First: Decide on the right place to start the story. Where should it begin, what action is taking place.

    Second: Decide where/how the story will end.

    Then decide how to get from the beginning to the end by listing major events, plot twists, character revelations etc. These could be a few lines each to a paragraph, maybe two.

    It's kind of like mapping out a cross country vacation. You know where you'll start and end, and how you suspect you'll get there--what highways you'll take, what cities, sites, interesting stops you'll make along the way.

    However, like every vacation trip, there will be changes due to time constraints, side trips not expected, road construction requiring alternate routes, etc.

    The thing about making points (objectives) along the way, is that it gives you something to write toward, to keep the plot moving and keep the novel on track--not going off on tangents. Also helps reduce the chance of writer's block, since you know where you are and where you need to get to next. It breaks down the task of writing an entire novel into manageable pieces.

    Things will change. Characters and events will not go exactly as planned. Some characters that may initially have been considered important to the plot, may be bit players, merge with another character, or even disappear. In the end, even the novel's ending may change. That's okay. The goal is to get to the end.

    Don't fret too much as you go. Get the rough draft out first. You're gonna have to go over it, edit it heavily and rewrite many parts anyway. Get the first draft completed. Then you have a framework to work and build from.

    The first few chapters often are spent getting to know the characters and the setting some. That's okay. Things will go smoothly after a while.

    Some writers will say that making it up/plotting it out ahead of time takes out the fun or interest. They'll claim if it's not spontaneous it'll be just as dull for the reader to read as it is for them to write.

    In my opinion they're wrong, at least for how I write. There are those that can do it that way, but they are few and far between. Many who claim to make it up as they go along, never quite get it finished. It's usually the pros who have written a number of novels successfully that can go from their head to paper (word processor), and a lot of them admit that they've got most of the story already bouncing around in their head anyway.

    And unless the reader is priviy to your outline, they'll be just as surprised and interested reading a novel that was plotted out a bit as to one that was made up along the way. After all, the outline was made up along the way, right?

    Hope this helps.

    Terry
     
  5. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Although it seems to have led to him speaking in first person...
     
  6. powertodream
    Offline

    powertodream Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Philadelphia/Waco
    third person, you mean
     
  7. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Yes. Damn. That was quite an embarassing mistake. And I can't even claim I was half asleep at the time. Can I blame the drugs? I might go with that excuse...
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    a 'plot line' as i think you're using the term, is nothing more than an outline of the plot... something all novelists have to deal with, at some point in the writing process... fyi, otherwise, 'plot line' means just the plot, period...

    some always plot out their story before they start writing it... others go with the initial flow and only stop to do an outline of some kind, when subplots creep in and/or they start to get tangled up in timelines and such...

    thing is, if you don't do some version of one at some point, you'll end up with plot holes and dead-ended subplots, characters who disappear or appear out of nowhere, and all kinds of other things that will make readers [= agents/publishers you want to impress] laugh at your goofs and toss your brainchild in the round file...
     

Share This Page