Module 8

Understanding Plots


How to write a plot . The word “plot” has several different meanings. When used as a verb, “to plot” means “to make plans”. The connotation is that the plans will not be pleasant. The literal meaning of words and phrases often differs from the understood meaning.

In this creative writing module we will the following aspects:

Inspiration is good. It’s what drives many writers away from the TV, the garden or the golf course, and towards the laptop or computer.

Application is a more reliable tool than inspiration. Application can lead to habit, and habit is what keeps writers writing and gets manuscripts finished and polished.

Research is a valuable tool. If you’re writing a novel set in an environment or time or society that isn’t your own, you will need research.

Curiosity is a vital tool for any author. Why? What if? Who would? If you want to find out, and to know, you will eventually realize that writing can be the best way to answer your questions.

“Where do you get your ideas?” This is one of the most common questions asked of writers. It is also one of the most annoying. Why? Because it is much too general.

Multiplying And Alternative Ideas
There is also the fact that ideas breed. Each time you plot a book or story, you reject several possibilities. If your hero bypasses a hitchhiker on a stormy night, you can still write a story in which a heroine or villain does not pass by.

Notice how these summaries focus on the conflicts or central problems inherent in the ideas. It is not enough to say; Man and woman fall in love or – Woman commits crime. These are not enticing because they are too simple. Of course, ideas are often expressed in much more than one single sentence, but mostly they can be distilled to one central conflict, and in that central conflict lies the germ of how to write a plot …

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