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Where Do I Go From Here?

You have a great idea for a story. Your plot is intriguing and you have a basic outline. Remember those outlines we needed to do in high school? I hated them because my thinking was never that organized. Anyway, you have one and now you don’t know where to go.

Let’s pretend a story is plot driven, (which means it's the plot not the characters that move the story along) ask yourself the following question:

  • Is my plot enough to keep my readers engaged?

  • Can my plot carry the story from beginning to end?

  • Will my plot sustain the story if my characters are weak?

If you answered yes, then you have a plot driven story. However, sometimes us writers get ‘stuck’ and don’t know where to take the story. When that happens don’t back up and reread, you already know the beginning, instead, move forward picking up the story a few scenes (or chapters) ahead. You have your outline and now you need to figure out how to get from point A to point B.

When I start a story, I write the beginning and end simultaneously and then play around in the middle. Somehow, mostly through the editing process, it all comes together and I have a complete story.

Plot driven stories can be successful IF the beginning is strong. Readers have to know exactly what to expect of the plot.

Fantasy genre is a good example of plot driven stories. The author creates worlds and scenarios that acquire more plot than characters. A few books to take a gander at that are plot driven are:

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler (I loved the book and am trying to find time to watch the series on HULU. Octavia Butler is an awesome author.)

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Other more notable pieces of works that are plot driven are the Game Of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

So score one point for plot driven.

Next week…So what do my characters do?

Until next time…

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