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Archive for September, 2013

September 30, 2013

Today’s Writers’ Tips

PLOT # 6: REVENGE

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 6 today: Revenge.

Ha! Here’s your chance to get even with all those evil people in your life who did you wrong; of course, you’ll change the names to protect the guilty, but you should have a barrel of fun writing what you’ve always wanted to say—or do—to those wicked folks in your life. So let’s have a look at:

 PLOT #6

REVENGE

Hamlet

The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Sting

As you write your revenge plot:

1. Your main character should seek retaliation against the antagonist for a real or imagined injury.

2. Most (but not all) revenge plots focus more on the act of the revenge than on a meaningful examination of the character’s motives.

3. Your hero’s justice is “wild” vigilante justice that usually goes outside the limits of the law.

4. Work on manipulating the feelings of your reader by avenging the injustices of the world by a man or woman of action who is forced to act by events when the institutions that normally deal with these problems prove inadequate.

5. Your hero should have moral justification for vengeance.

6. Your hero’s vengeance may equal but might not exceed the offense perpetrated against the hero (the punishment must fit the crime).

7. Your hero first should try to deal with the offense in traditional ways, such as relying on the police— an effort that usually fails.

8. The first dramatic phase establishes the hero’s normal life, which the antagonist interferes with by committing a crime. Make your reader understand the full impact of the crime against the hero and what it costs both physically and emotionally. Your hero then gets no satisfaction by going through official channels and realizes he must pursue his own cause if he wants to avenge the crime.

9. The second dramatic phase includes your hero making plans for revenge and then pursuing the antagonist. Your antagonist may elude the hero’s vengeance either by chance or design. This act usually pits the two opposing characters against each other.

10. The last dramatic phase includes the confrontation between your hero and antagonist. Often the hero’s plans go awry, forcing him to improvise. Either your protagonist succeeds or fails in his attempts. In contemporary revenge plots, the hero usually doesn’t pay much of an emotional price for the revenge. This allows the action to become cathartic for the reader.

So there you have ten points that you need to develop as you write your revenge plot. Work on these details, perfect them, and you just might write yourself a best-selling novel!

I believe as you outline your fiction plots, you can better define which plot you’re developing and better understand how to incorporate many of these characteristics to improve your writing 100%.

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #7: The Riddle or Mystery

Happy writing!

Marsha

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September 16, 2013

Today’s Writers’ Tip

ESCAPE Fiction Plots

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 5 today: ESCAPE.

We’ve all chewed our fingernails while we read books or watched movies in which the main characters were trying to escape from a prison (POW camp), an evil stepmother, or a lonely island. To us the escape seemed so obvious, we wanted to scream at the hero or heroine and tell them to just try a little harder or look a little deeper at his/her surroundings to find the way out. But the nerve-wracking suspense is what makes the writing of such books and movies so attractive to us adventure seekers.  Let’s take a look at the defining characteristics of an Escape Fiction Plot and see what makes a good one:

PLOT #5

ESCAPE

The Great Escape

Stalag 17

Cinderella

Castaway

The Characteristics:

  1. The main character is confined against his/her will (often unjustly) and wants to escape.
  2.  The moral argument of the plot is black and white: good versus evil.
  3. The main character, or hero, is the victim. (Remember, in the RESCUE plot, the hero saves the victim.)
  4.  The first dramatic phase of the story deals with the hero’s imprisonment and any initial attempts at escape which fail.
  5. The second dramatic phase deals with the hero’s plans for escape. These plans are almost always thwarted.
  6. The third dramatic phase deals with the actual escape.
  7. The antagonist—and it can be just the island— has control of the hero during the first two dramatic phases; the hero gains control in the last dramatic phase.

So there you have it. Consider some of the escape plots you’ve seen or read. The really good ones followed this formula to a T. If you’re planning to write an escape plot, you’ve now got the tools to make your story a nail biter too.

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!”)

I hope as you outline your fiction plots, you can better define which plot you’re developing and better understand how to incorporate many of these characteristics to improve your writing 100%.

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #6: REVENGE

Happy writing!

Marsha

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September 2, 2013

Today’s Writers’ Tips

Fiction Plots

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 4 today: RESCUE. Who hasn’t been on the edge of his seat as a child when reading books or watching movies on TV like “Snow White,” “The Secret Garden,” or “The Lone Ranger” (He was always “rescuing good guys from the bad guys!) But now as a writer, we need to analyze the clever writing technique used to create a work that keeps the viewer wanting more as the hero or heroine search and rescue some poor lost wandering soul (or sometimes an animal).

Let’s take a look at the defining characteristics of a Rescue Fiction Plot:

PLOT #4

RESCUE

Snow White

The Magnificent Seven

1. The rescue plot relies more on action than on the development of any one character.

2. The “character triangle” should consist of a hero, a villain, and a victim.

3. The moral argument of the rescue plot is usually black and white.

4. The focus should be on the main character’s (hero’s) pursuit of the villain.

5. The hero usually must contend with the villain on the villain’s turf.

6. If there’s a heroine, she should be defined by her relationship to the villain.

7. The villain should deprive the hero of what each believes is rightfully his/hers.

8. The villain continually interferes with the hero’s progress.

9. The victim is generally the weakest of the three characters and serves mainly to force the hero to confront the villain.

10. There are three dramatic phases: separation, pursuit, and confrontation and reunion.

All information compliments of:

Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots (p. 189). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction in any subgenre!)

I hope as you outline your fiction plots, you can better define which plot you’re developing and better understand how to incorporate many of these characteristics to improve your writing 100%.

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #5: ESCAPE

Happy writing!

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