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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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Visit the Amish of Snyder County

Louellen Finds True Love

(Volume 1 in The Loves of Snyder County Trilogy)

http://amzn.to/2nPcHzA

  

Amish wife Louellen Friesen questions her husband’s loyalty,

her Amish beliefs, and her own passions.

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August 14, 2017

Writers’ Tips for the Fiction Genre

TWENTY MASTER PLOTS AND HOW TO BUILD THEM by Ronald Tobias http://www.amazon.com/20-Master-Plots-Build-Them/dp/1599635372/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373314000&sr=1-1  is one of the best books I’ve ever read to help understand the fiction genre and to improve my own writing. This book by Tobias is packed with useful information for any writer of fiction, who desires to improve his skills for writing an appealing, can’t-put-the-book-down manuscript. All the tips in the next series of blog posts come from this book.

Today we’re going to start by reviewing the definition of plot, a plot-driven book, and a character-driven book. So if you’re been wanting to write good fiction, regardless of the age of your readership, take special note of the helpful tips in my next 20 or so blog posts.

DEFINITION OF PLOT:

  1. A plot is organic, the skeleton that holds the story together, the scaffold, the superstructure, the chassis, the frame, a force, a process.
  2. Every plot is different, but each has its roots in a pattern of unified behavior and action.
  3. It’s a blueprint of human behavior.
  4. It’s more than a chronicle of events. It answers WHY! (It has to be more than “Johnny hit his sister Susie.” WHY did he hit her?)
  5. TENSION fuels the plot.
  6. PLOT asks the question; the CLIMAX answers it.

DEFINITION OF A PLOT-DRIVEN BOOK: the mechanism of the story that is more important than the characters. The characters are there to make the plot happen.

DEFINITION OF A CHARACTER-DRIVEN BOOK: the mechanism of the story is less important than the characters.

  1. Don’t have a STATIC character. He/she must be different at the end than he/she was in the beginning.
  2. Put your character in a SITUATION.
  3. Use TRIANGLES: the relationship between character and plot. They make the strongest character combinations and are most common. Events happen in threes. (Example: the hero tries three times to overcome an obstacle.)
  4. MOTIVATION: explaining why the major characters to what they do: ACTION VS. REACTION

So…there are some introductory tips from Ronald Tobias’s excellent book for you to ponder as you plan your work of fiction. Next time, we’ll share with you some pointers to help you write a plot that focuses on a quest or a goal the protagonist is aiming to achieve.

Happy writing!

Marsha

 

Interested in Amish/Mennonite fiction?

Eli and Louellen Friesen’s marriage is on the rocks, and at the same time, both question their ordnung’s teachings of the way of salvation.

https://www.amazon.com/Louellen-Finds-True-Love-Snyder-ebook/dp/B01N18WW1C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502653855&sr=1-1&keywords=Louellen+Finds+True+Love

PLEASE POST A REVIEW. A FAVORABLE REVIEW IS AS GOOD AS A SALE FOR US AUTHORS.

 

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