Okay, this is something that's been bugging me. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to generate a creative and engaging plot that still maintains a foundation that's rooted in something that makes sense? As I put together a loose framework for my story I feel like I go back and forth between "so realistic it'll bore you to tears" and "awesomely creative but holy crap that makes no sense". How do you temper one with the other, and how do you come back from sliding too far in one direction? I love to read the self published books on my Kindle, and lately I've really noticed when an author falls in to one of those traps. Their plot becomes contrived, and you can't help but feel bad for the potential you saw at the beginning. For example, the sword-and-sorcery books that start with a revelation, move on to a journey somewhere, and then end with some grand battle. Yawwwn. I'm interested in writing something connected to that genre, but I feel like all of my ideas are too kitschy and overused. That said, I know there are formulas to this whole mess that will help you stay on track so your reader doesn't get bored and give up halfway through. Thoughts on what you do? Better yet, resources you might recommend? I really want to spark some fun ideas that will get me moving in a positive direction.