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Top Tips for a Good Plot

The most fundamental element of any work of fiction is the plot. In the most fundamental of terms, the plot is the story that is being told within a work of fiction. If you are interested in advancing your own skills in the realm of writing, specifically in the writing of fine fiction, you will want to take a moment to consider these top tips for creating a good plot.

 

Understanding the Principle of “Suspension of Disbelief”

Of course, the plot is the heart of fiction writing. Therefore, by definition you are “making up a story.” In this regard, you oftentimes will hear that it is important to make your story believable. You may be wondering what really is meant by making your story believable. The fact is that there are many stories and novels on the market that have premises and plots that on first blush seem to be completely unbelievable.

The fact is what you are trying to do when it comes to the development of a believable plot for your story or novel is to “suspend disbelief.” In other words, your goal is to create a plot that allows a person to step aside for a moment and suspend the disbelief that he or she might otherwise experience through what might seem to be an outlandish premise on first blush. You are attempting to develop a plot that, although based on an extreme premise in some instances, that reads believably, that appears realistic due to the way in which you structure the plot and lay the foundation for the story itself.

 

Maintaining Structure

Another tip that you need to keep in mind when it comes to developing a good plot for your story or novel is ensuring that you maintain structure. You need to make certain that your story or novel does not become convoluted or confusing.

Perhaps the best two tools that you can utilize to ensure that you maintain the structure of your plot are to outline and to edit.

The outlining process allows you the ability to create an appropriate and logical framework onto which you can build your plot. Indeed, the outline gives a tool through which you can maintain the logic and structure of your story or novel from the first to the last word.

Editing is also an important tool in the development of an appropriate structure for your book. Through the editing process you can identify those instances in which you have run off course when it comes to the development of an appropriate structure for your manuscript.

 

Cohesiveness and Continuity

Along these same lines, another tip that you need to keep in mind when it comes to developing a great plot is to maintain the cohesiveness and continuity of your plot. By this it is meant that you need to make sure that your plot progresses appropriately.

By way of an example, if you have a character who has brown eyes at the beginning of the manuscript, you cannot described that character as looking out over the ocean with her blue eyes.  Consistency, cohesiveness and continuity are crucial to creating a readable, believable and entertaining manuscript.

 

Select a Proper Point of View

In developing your plot, it also is important for you to select the proper point of view for the story or novel. For example, if your plot can best be developed by having a first person narrator tell the tale, that is the point of view that you will want to select for your work.

You need to ponder what point of view will best allow you to fully and completely tell your story in an interesting and entertaining fashion.

 

Maintaining a Proper Point of View

Once you have selected the point of view for your story or novel that you think will be most effective in the furtherance of your plot, you need to make certain that you appropriately maintain that point of view throughout your tale.

There are some instances in which a piece of fiction can shift from one point of view to another. However, in most instances when this occurs it is accidental and not by design. Shifting from one point of view to another occurs because of the carelessness or the inexperience of a writer.

 

Revising and Your Plot Development

Keep in mind that it is very rare that a writer will “get it right” the first time when it comes to the plot of a story or novel. Therefore, the typical writer will go through multiple drafts to make sure that the plot itself is in the best possible form.

There are many experienced, professional writers who say that the real work associated with the plot development process occurs during the revision process. Therefore, you simply must understand the vital importance of revising your initial and even your subsequent drafts.

 

Editing and Your Plot

Additionally, you need to understand that the development and fine tuning of your plot carries forth into the editing process. Not only is editing designed to ensure that grammar and spelling are correct, editing is also intended to make sure that your plot flows correctly and in an interesting fashion.

Therefore, it is important that you allocate the time and energy necessary to ensure that you do undertake a thorough and comprehensive editing process that includes paying attention to the manner in which your plot has been structured and developed throughout the course of your manuscript.

 

Plot and Theme: Making a Happy Marriage

In the development of your plot, it is also vitally important that your plot and theme work together. Your plot needs to advance your theme and your theme needs to advance your plot.

In order to ensure that your plot and your theme work together, hand in hand, you will want to focus on both the plot and the theme when you are going through the outlining process that has been discussed previously in this article. The outlining process is key to ensuring that your plot and theme are well wed.