April 7, 2014
Today’s Writers’ Tip
WRITING FICTION PLOTS
Plot Number 17: DISCOVERY
Death of a Traveling Salesman
If you’re considering writing a “discovery plot,” take a good look at these characteristics, which are quite involved. A writer who does an excellent job with this type of plot will create a character-driven plot. The universe revolves around him or her. Let’s review how to write a good discovery plot:
- A discovery plot is more about the character making the discovery than the discovery itself.
- If the protagonist is searching for something, the focus of the story is not the search itself; it’s a search for understanding about human nature.
- Focus the story on who the character is, not on what the character does.
- Start the plot with the understanding of who the main character is before circumstances change and force the character into new situations.
- Don’t linger on your main character’s “former” life; integrate past with present and future.
- Place the character on the pinnacle of change. Start the action as late as possible, but also give the reader a strong impression of the main character’s personality as it was before the events started to change his/her character.
- Make sure the catalyst that forces the change (from a state of equilibrium to disequilibrium) is significant and interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention.
- Avoid being trivial. Don’t dwell on insignificant detail.
- Move the protagonist into the crisis (the clash between the present and the past) as quickly as possible, but maintain the tension of past and present as a fundamental part of the story’s tension.
I’ve never written a discovery plot, and in my opinion, it seems like one of the most difficult to master. But now that you have your ammunition, go for it!
Next time we’ll look at the fiction plot number 18: WRETCHED EXCESS.
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!)
Have a great day writing!
Please check my latest publication on Amazon:
No Furlough for Mandie
The Snyder County Quilting Bee Series II
Mandie and Tobias Schmidt, missionaries to Jakarta, Indonesia, have waited two years to come home to Snyder County for a six-month furlough. With their nine-month-old baby, Lydia, the couple plans to spend quality time with their families and travel to numerous states, presenting their ministry to Mennonite churches, whose congregations pray for the couple and sometimes offer financial support.
But Mandie and Tobias’s furlough is cancelled after only a few weeks because of a crisis back in Indonesia. What happens that forces the couple to consider returning to Indonesia immediately?