Last time, I know, I discussed more genres than I did actual plot, but I wanted to set you guys up for what I’m going to be talking with you about today. The real stuff. The nitty-grittiness of plots, suspense-building, and so forth. I’ve already mentioned some ideas in previous posts, such as incorporating character development into the plot to make it not only make sense, but to move it right along.
But now, we not going to talk about JUST the characters, but the plots THEMSELVES.
First, you brainstorm. Try to think up something unique, if you can. Everyone and her sister has heard the classic fairytale of, “Knight needs queen to marry. Knight sees princess in trouble by evil villain. Said evil villain is defeated, and knight rescues her. They marry, and everyone in the kingdom lives happily ever after.” Uh, no. Do NOT do that. It’s a story that been so worn out, so overused people have really, really gotten sick of reading it. Unless you can put a special twist on original fairytales, as Marissa Meyer does in her Lunar Chronicles series, do NOT go for it. Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. I cannot emphasize enough how important that is to the plot, not just characters. And don’t worry if you get ideas from certain movies, books or things you see, do, etc, as long as you’re not plagiarizing and taking their ideas directly. You want it to have a YOU touch, not a “Suzanne Collins” or “Steven Spielberg” touch. I often get random ideas from random stories and characters, and I think, “Boy, that would be a cool idea to elaborate on into a story of its very own.” Sometimes, I’ll get ideas like that from books like Roald Dahl’s children books, movies like Star Wars. As a matter of fact, in this new book my class and I have coming out, to purchase, my own little short story is actually based on an idea that Dahl introduces in HIS short story, “Henry Sugar”. But no, I never, ever (and that should be a hint that YOU should never ever) go so far as to steal major plots, characters, and so forth. Writing fanfic is one thing. If you are writing a story, your own story, whether it be a short one or a novel, you want it to be YOURS, yours alone. They should have influences, yes, just not movie and book-stolen stuff. (But seriously, be careful. Authors can legit get into major lawsuits over things like that.)
If you draw up a blank at the beginning, that’s OK. I listed some helpful exercises in a previous post to help you. If all else fails, go outdoors, and just DAYDREAM, like I used to do CONSTANTLY as a kid. Daydreaming truly helps to stimulate the imagination.
Don’t worry if you get stuck at a certain point in the plot, or if you start writing and think, “I have no idea how I’m going to end this, or how we are going to get here.” Again, that’s fine. Sometimes, you just have to make yourself write, or this case, word-spit. Keep word-spitting, until something happens and the light switch is suddenly flicked into the “on” position. The worst thing you can do, at this point, is give up. DO NOT GIVE UP. If God meant (I mean, TRULY meant) for you to be a writer, IT WAS MEANT TO BE. You’ve come this far– too far to just throw up your hands and throw in the towel.
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1093&bih=510&q=writing+meme+plot&oq=writing+meme+plot&gs_l=img.3…14607.19744.0.20047.18.18.0.0.0.0.270.1777.4j6j2.12.0….0…1.1.64.img..6.10.1475.0..0j35i39k1j0i5i30k1j0i30k1j0i8i30k1.ymUJmrZGw4I#imgrc=awz48lg7zVoHnM: (original website was not secure)