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Plot (Creative Writing Fiction)
Transcript of Plot (Creative Writing Fiction)
The plot of a story is the plan, scheme or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel or short story.
(Creative Writing Fiction)
Advice #2 for a good, interesting plot
Reverse character roles
- when your plot twist consists of either the hero turning into the villain or vice versa.
Advice #3 for a good, interesting plot
Give it an open ending
- not necessarily the easiest, but one of the most practical plot twists is the ambiguous ending. Leaving a story open means you don't have to explain how it ends, but rather, you leave it up to the imagination of the reader.
by Richard Ford
In this story, we follow the lives of Earl, his girlfriend, Edna, his daughter, Cheryl and their dog, Little Duke. They don't live the best life, having to steal cars and such to get everywhere, and are now on their way to Florida to try and make a fresh start. However, they end up having troubles along the way and they have to stop in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
"The plot thickens..."
As you can see, it is very important to have a good knowledge and understanding as to how to make a story plot work and flow effectively. The "Plot Diagram" really does help put your ideas together well, so I would advise using the diagram as well as using things like interesting plot twists when piecing it all together. All these things will help everything come together nicely so you can create an amazing story!
Dictionary.com - "Plot" definition
Ford, Richard - "Rock Springs"
Preciouslyana's Blog - "How to Analyze Short Story Plot?"
Scribendi - "The Golden Rules for a Good Plot"
Write it Sideways - "5 Tips for Writing An Effective Plot"
Advice #1 for a good, interesting plot:
Flesh out your plot
- fleshing out your plot with colorful characters and vivid settings will enhance your writing and grab your readers' attention.
Why is plot important?
In order to make an impressive story, you need to have a plot laid out of all the events that take place in your story. Having a well-thought out plot of all the events in sequential order helps piece things together. Without it, everything would just be jumbled, out of order and wouldn't make much sense.
- also known as the introduction; used to creatively draw the reader into the story, introduces the characters and tends to begin with the phrase, "Once upon a time..."
- includes key/initiating events, internal responses, turning points, complications and the main conflict(s) of the story.
- The outcome; the most suspenseful part of the story. Happens when the tension grows and before the conflict is resolved (ex. just before you find out who the killer is, etc.)
- When the characters work to solve the main problem/conflict.
- also known as the conclusion; how things end up at the end of the story and how the conflict is resolved. Tends to end with the phrase, "...and they lived happily, ever after."
All writers follow what is called the
: a guide that helps put a plot together. It starts with an introduction, has rising action which includes the main conflict, climax, falling action and then the conclusion.
The general idea of a plot is pretty basic: have your main protagonist(s), the main conflict, the protagonist(s) overcomes it, which leads to a satisfying end; the basic gist of it all.
Spend time on little details and stay focused; nothing is worse than a good plot idea that grows chaotic as the story progresses. Stories are about change; each scene should have a turning point, with the protagonist moving from one value to another. Each scene should push the story towards a final turning point: the conclusion.
Hero turned villain:
Villain turned hero:
...but there are
many little twists you can add to your plot to make it more interesting for you as well as your readers!
You would think so...
Sometimes it comes off as forced when the character becomes the polar opposite of what he/she has been throughout the story, so be sure to give those characters some traits that would make their transition believable.
Hero turned villain:
The Lord of the Rings
Villain turned hero:
Pirates of the Caribbean
The audience doesn't know what happened to the characters at the end, but based on what they know from what's happened in the story, they can wager a guess and infer an ending of their own in order to feel satisfied and tie up loose ends in their minds.
To see the use of this writing element, let's take a look at how it was used effectively in one of the stories from our text:
by Richard Ford
While it would take a long time to list all the possible plot twists, I'll give you 3 of the most commonly used ones!
Let's take a look at how effective the overall plot worked in this story!
We are introduced to the main characters
- had a scrape with the law over some bad checks; Edna's boyfriend of eight months, Cheryl's father
- lost her kids and has an ex-husband, Danny and told him Earl was in jail once for murder to keep him from breaking into her house; Earl's girlfriend, once owned a monkey
- Earl's daughter (age unknown), loves her dog, Little Duke
All of them are on their way to Florida in a stolen car to make a fresh start in life
2. Rising Action
Main events and the conflict
The family is driving along, making stops in Bozeman and Jackson Hole
The car breaks down a few miles outside of Rock Springs, Wyoming
The outcome/when the tension grows
They ditch the broken car
They meet a Negro woman and her son who lets them use their phone to call for help
They're taken to a Ramada Inn by cab
4. Falling Action
What is done/happens to solve the main problem
Earl and Edna discuss being in a motel
Edna questions what she's doing with her life
Earl offers to let Edna leave
Conclusion/how conflict is resolved
Edna considers leaving
Earl is upset and goes to the parking lot during the night, looking at all the cars, and trying to clear his head
He contemplates his future
As pointed out in the chart, Richard Ford had a good understanding of plot and used it effectively in his short story. It started off with a good introduction of the main characters, had a nice, flowing plot with rising and falling action. Then the story's ending had a little cliffhanger to it, leaving the overall conclusion up to the imagination of the reader. Did Edna really leave? What became of Earl and Cheryl? I suppose we'll never know!