aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Looking to books for inspiration on how to begin

Fiction First Aid: Instant Remedies for Novels, Stories, and Scripts says that there are two parts to plot:
Choosing what happens in your story.
Choosing the scenes that show what happens.

The book also says that in a plot, the characters goes from "Who I am and what I have" to "Who I want to be and what I want."

And it sets some tasks:

Act 1: Set up conflicts
Plot conflict: make clear what the charactes want and some of the obstacles that stand in their way
Character conflict: Make clear why what they want is so important to them

Act 2: Increase stakes and/or decrease ability
Increase stakes: For example, competiting in the rcace is no longer just for the glory, but for the prize money that will pay for the protagonist’s education now her family has lost all its money.

Decrease ability: The characters have additional obstacles that inhabit their ability to get what they want (For example, they lose a job, break a leg, loved one becomes ill.)

Act 3: Payoff.
Scenes must equal or surpass the promise that is made by suspense.

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