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Today’s Writers’ Tips

Plot Number 9: The Underdog

Plot Number 10: Temptation

Because plot number 9 is so short, we’ll look at plot number 10 as well. If you got a good handle on plot number 8, RIVALRY, then you’ll have no problem with number 9. So, let’s get to it:

PLOT #9

THE UNDERDOG

Joan of Arc

Rocky

Cinderella

  1. The underdog plot is similar to the rivalry plot except that the protagonist is not matched equally against the antagonist. It looks like there’s no chance of the hero winning.
  2. The antagonist, which may be a person, place, or thing (such as a bureaucracy), has much greater power than the protagonist.
  3. The dramatic phases are similar to the rivalry plot becaue it follows the power curves of the characters.
  4. The good news! The underdog usually (but not always) overcomes his opposition.

 

PLOT # 10

TEMPTATION

Adam and Eve

Our Lady’s Child

  1. The temptation plot is a character plot. It examines the motives, needs, and impulses of human character.
  2. This plot should depend on morality and the effects of giving in to temptation. By the end of the story, the character should have moved from a lower moral plane (in which he gives in to temptation) to a higher moral plane as a result of learning the sometimes harsh lessons of giving in to temptation.
  3. The conflict should be interior and take place within the protagonist, although it has exterior results in the action. The conflict should result from the protagonist’s inner turmoil—a result of knowing what he should do, and then not doing it.
  4. The first dramatic phase should establish the nature of the protagonist then be followed by the antagonist (if there is one).
  5. Next, the nature of the temptation is introduced, which establishes its effect on the protagonist, and shows how the protagonist struggles over his decision.
  6. The protagonist then gives in to the temptation. There could be some short-term gratification.
  7. The protagonist often will rationalize his decision to yield to temptation.
  8. The protagonist might go through a period of denial after yielding to the temptation.
  9. The second dramatic phase should reflect the effects of yielding to the temptation. Short-term benefits diminish and the negative sides emerge.
  10. The protagonist should try to find a way to escape responsibility and punishment for his act. 11. The negative effects of the protagonist’s actions should reverberate with increasing intensity in the second dramatic phase.
  11. The third dramatic phase should resolve the protagonist’s internal conflicts. The story ends with atonement, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Wow, there are some complicated details to writing a TEMPTATION plot, so get your notepad ready and incorporate these points in your manuscript. You’re on your way to creating a fascinating read

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 11: Metamorphosis

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!)

Happy writing!

Marsha

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Today’s Writers’ Tips

Plot Number 8: The Rivalry Fiction Plot

Rivalry? Now that’s an interesting concept, especially when considering fiction plots. Rivalry…in other words COMPETITION between two characters.

I suppose the most classic example of this kind of plot would be found in the greatest book ever written: the Bible, with the conflict between God and Satan. So, let’s have a look at the characteristics that make a really good rivalry fiction story:

PLOT #8

RIVALRY

Two Royal Navy men boxing for charity. The modern sport was codified in England.

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

The Bible (God vs. Satan)

Paradise Lost

Moby Dick

Ben Hur

  1. The source of the conflict in the story should come as a result of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
  2. The nature of the rivalry should be the struggle for power between the protagonist and the antagonist.
  3. The adversaries can be equally matched.
  4. Although their strengths needn’t match exactly, one rival should have compensating strengths to match (or almost match) the other.
  5. The story should begin at the point of initial conflict, introducing the status quo before the conflict begins.
  6. Start the action, (the catalyst scene), by having the antagonist instigate against the will of the protagonist.
  7. The struggle between the rivals should be a struggle on the characters’ power curves. One is usually inversely proportional to the other: As the antagonist rises on the power curve, the protagonist falls.
  8. The antagonist should gain superiority over the protagonist in the first dramatic phase. The protagonist usually suffers the actions of the antagonist and so is usually at a disadvantage.
  9. The sides are usually clarified by the moral issues involved.
  10. The second dramatic phase reverses the protagonist’s descent on the power curve through a reversal of fortune.
  11. The antagonist is often aware of the protagonist’s empowerment.
  12. The protagonist often reaches a point of parity on the power curve before a challenge is possible.
  13. The third dramatic phase deals with the final confrontation between the rivals.
  14. At the resolution, the protagonist restores order for himself and his world.

Wow! If you ask me, this is a basket full of important characteristics you need to incorporate into your rivalry plot. But if you read some classics and see how the authors of those works handled this subgenre, I’m sure you’ll be able to crank out your own rivalry fiction plot that could become a best seller!

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 9: The Underdog

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!”)

Happy writing!

Marsha

********************************************************

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Today’s Writers’ Tips

THE RIDDLE or MYSTERY Fiction Plot

PLOT # 7

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 7 today: riddle or mystery. If you’re a mystery writer, and a successful published one, I’m sure you have mastered the “tricks of the trade.” Writing a riddle or mystery has certain characteristics different from “regular” writing. So, let’s have a look at the important points needed in a good mystery:

THE RIDDLE OR MYSTERY

The Maltese Falcon

The Lady or the Tiger

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Murder, She Wrote

  1. The core of your riddle should be in clever writing: hide that which is in plain sight.
  2. The tension of your riddle should come from the conflict between what happens as opposed to what seems to have happened.
  3. The riddle challenges the reader to solve it before the protagonist does. (And readers love this.)
  4. The answer to your riddle should always be in plain view without being obvious. (And that’s a “trick.”)
  5. The first dramatic phase should consist of the generalities of the riddle (persons, places, events).
  6. The second dramatic phase should consist of the specifics of the riddle (how persons, places, and events relate to each other in detail).
  7. The third dramatic phase should consist of the riddle’s solution, explaining the motives of the antagonist(s), and the real sequence of events (as opposed to what seemed to have happened).
  8. Write to a specific audience, i.e. age, sex, etc.
  9. Choose between an open-ended and a close-ended structure. (Open-ended riddles have no clear answer; close-ended ones do.)

So, there you have it. If you’ve never tackled a mystery, maybe now you’ll be brave enough to try one. And the mystery to solve is CAN YOU DO IT?

Next time, we’ll look at plot # 8: RIVALRY

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!”)

Happy writing!

Marsha

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TODAY’S WRITERS’ TIP

FICTION PLOT : 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

Anger Angry Bad Burn Dangerous Emotion Evi

(Photo compliments of pixabay.com)

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 the hero 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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Today’s Writers’ Tip

PLOT FIVE: 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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March 12, 2018

Today’s Writers’ Tip

Fiction Plots

RESCUE

Truck Fire Engines Firefighters During A Fire Drill Training Royalty Free Stock Photos - 73410618

(Photo compliments of http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

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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Today’s Writers’ Tip

Fiction Plots

PURSUIT

Continuing our study of fiction plots, we’ll look at plot number 3 today: PURSUIT. We’ve all read books or watched movies in which someone was chasing someone else or something (an animal, hidden treasure, or even a dream), and we bit our nails and sat on the edge of our seats, wondering if our hero or heroine would ever reach the “unreachable star.”

Well, there’s a trick to writing such suspense. So let’s take a look at the defining characteristics of a Pursuit Fiction Plot:

PLOT # 3

PURSUIT

Moby Dick

Les Miserables

Sherlock Holmes

 

The first dramatic phase of the story should have three stages:

a.  the ground rules for the chase

b. the stakes involved

c. the race should begin with a motivating incident

In the pursuit plot, the chase is more important than the people who take part in it.

There has to be a real danger of the pursued getting caught.

The main character (the one pursuing) should have a fairly good chance of catching the pursued.

He might even catch the pursued momentarily.

This plot is filled with physical action.

The story and your characters must be stimulating, engaging, and unique.

The main characters and situations should be against type in order to avoid cliches.

Keep the situation as geographically confined as possible because the smaller the area for the chase, the greater the tension.

 

Are you ready to tackle a “pursuit” fiction plot? Use these guidelines, and you might have the next best seller in that subgenre.

 

ALL INFORMATION COMPLIMENTS OF

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

Next time, we’ll have a look at PLOT #4: RESCUE

Happy writing!

***********************************************************************************************

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