January 27, 2014
Today’s Writers’ Tip
DIFFERENT FICTION PLOTS
Plot Number 13: MATURATION
Flight (J. Steinbeck)
Nick Adams’ Stories (E. Hemingway)
Hansel and Gretel
The thirteenth plot, maturation, is specific in its characteristics because it deals with main characters “arriving” or reaching adulthood, which is a little different from our last plot description, transformation. So let’s look at the points of interest to make your Maturation Plot a page turner:
1. You need to create a main character on the brink of adulthood, having goals that are either confused or not yet clarified.
2. The reader must understand who the main character is and how the main character feels and thinks before an event occurs that begins the process of change.
3. Cleverly work your plot so that the protagonist’s naive life (childhood) is pitted against the reality of an unprotected life (adulthood).
4. The focus of the story should be on your protagonist’s moral and psychological growth.
5. Once you’ve established your protagonist as he/she was before the change, develop an incident challenging his/her beliefs and his/her understanding of how the world works.
6. Decide if your main character will reject or accept change or perhaps do both. Decide if he/she will resist the lesson in life and decide how he/she will react to the change.
7. Show your main character undergoing a gradual, not sudden, process of change.
8. Be careful to portray your young protagonist in a convincing manner. He/she shouldn’t have adult values and perceptions until he/ she is ready to portray them. In other words, don’t have your hero/heroine grow up too fast.
9. Decide at what psychological price the main character learns his/her lesson and develop a deepening plot revealing how the protagonist copes with the life-changing lesson.
So, there you have nine pointers to help you develop a Maturation Plot. While you’re writing the next best seller in this subgenre, don’t forget that writers are readers. Get some classics out of the library or online and study how the masters developed this clever way of presenting an excellent story.
Next time we’ll look at the fiction plot that has probably been developed more than any other one in the fiction plot collection, number 14: LOVE
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!”)