Plot plus characters are the two fundamentals of fiction. Of course, you have to write good dialogue and graphic descriptions of the story’s setting, but without a plot neither the writer or the reader knows where the story is going. There are a number of books on plots and one of best is by Martha Anderson. It’s title is The Plot Whisperer, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master.
I had the privilege of hearing Martha speak at the 2016 Sand Francisco Writers Conference in February. Here is the outline of her approach.
Plot should have the following structure:
- Beginning: Opening that excites the reader to want to know what will happen
- Light Middle: Something the protagonist missed leading to a recommitment
- Dark Middle: The crisis, looks like all might be lost
- End: Climax / Triumph, the hero prevails.
There may be points along the way where events are good or bad but they fit within this structure.
I highly recommend Martha’s approach. It adds valuable points to the standard plot structure.