A Word About Plots

A plot is a road map which is the simple way to explain it. No matter how convoluted a story-line may get with twists and turns like driving through a mountain range, each scene leads the reader to the denouement.

There are various types of stories. Some say there are only three , the happy ending, the ones which end unhappily and the tragedy. This theory is from William Foster Harris. Now, I’m not certain how he differentiates between unhappy endings and tragedies. Should you so a search online for plots, you will find a lot on the various sorts, the three I just talked about and the seven I’m about to mention. Those are where characters overcome the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy and rebirth. However, I’m not sure I agree. The last two sound quite similar to me. Another theory gives sixty-nine basic plot-lines. I’m not listing those because I’m sure you get the point.

In my mind, plots truly are the maps to guide readers to the end. Without it, your audience will surely become lost. Worse, he may hop out of the story and never come back. So it is vital to the narrative. Without such structure, you have nothing but some characters and a string of settings and descriptions. Don’t get me wrong, those elements are important, but they aren’t much without the underlying road-map to lead one through the tale.

So as long as a person has something to guide them through an author’s world, they will be happy. Should it include twists and turns, even better. That said, it must be there to take them on their way. Stay aware of your story’s path. Make sure your fiction is long enough for the task you want it to perform. Once I read a book which would make a terrific short story. In my opinion, as a long form piece it floundered and fell flat. It got boring. As a result, it doesn’t live on in my memory, but I do remember thinking it would be better if it were shorter. What you want to do is leave your readers with fond memories of your composition. Maybe not every little detail, but something should stay with them.

So when writing fiction, keep an eye on how you map things out. Ensure it goes all the way to the conclusion of the work and doesn’t wander off into the reeds. Plots should be twisty and full of turns, though. Go ahead and take them through the weeds, but don’t stop there. Get them out of there and back where they should be as soon as you can. They will thank you for it.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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