Posts Tagged ‘learning how to write’

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:



Joan of Arc



  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


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!






Skye must learn to control her sour feelings when a Down syndrome boy comes to Keystone Stables and is crazy over her.


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March 30, 2015

Let’s Go for the Book First! Huh?


In my twenty-some years of trying to get a book published and then finally doing so, I’ve met dozens of other writers who have had the ultimate goal of having a book published. And they’ve thought that’s the way to start and jump in with all fours into this fickle business.

However, I’ve often found that the vast majority of those folks who’ve had that worthy goal of being a published book author had never been published at all.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with striving to have your book published. I remember when I first started out, that was my goal, too. But, alas, in my file cabinet here next to me rest (in peace) three complete book manuscripts that never made it beyond the editor’s slush pile at numerous companies. I’ve allowed those three manuscripts to stay snuggled in their little file folders all these years to remind me of how stupid I was to think, “I’m going to write a book and get it published.” My heavens, is there a LOT to learn about writing before ever trying to write a book!

Now, over two decades later I realize that I “knew nuttin'” about the writing/publishing business when I launched those first three book projects. It was only after I started attending writers conferences that I discovered writing a book and having it published would come AFTER I learned how to write a good short story or article and would have those genres published first.

Critique.Group.No.Two.8.7.14So, writer friends, if you’re just launching out on the Good Ship Publish Me, then do your homework. Learn the craft by doing two of the most important activities you could ever do in this business:MCWC.Duck.Welcome.Sign.on.Porch.7.22.14

  1. Join or start a local critique group or one online
  2. Attend writers conferences

Then to improve your skills, study a high school English textbook and start trying to be published by writing Letters to the Editor for your local newspaper, dabble in some poetry, and write some short stories and articles from 1200 to 5000 words. After you’ve mastered those works, then you’ll be ready to sail off into the Ocean of Published Book Authors.

P.S. Make plans to attend the Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 19th to the 24th and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to be published, whether it’s for an article, a short story, or a book. Guaranteed!

The Porch


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