Without a good plot, it’s almost impossible to keep your readers interested.

The most basic definition of a plot is: a protagonist with a goal.  Who the protagonist is and what goal they’re striving towards are what make your story stand out above all the others.  You have to keep your characters busy if you want to write a novel. You have to give them a crisis, a reason to overcome it, and a way out.

Once you define your basic plot, as yourself these questions to round out the rest of your story:

Is this goal strong enough to sustain an 80 000-word long novel?

We prefer to read about characters who have something to fight for and something to lose if they don’t.

Is the plot introduced early enough?

The story goal is usually set by an inciting moment that turns the protagonist’s life upside down in a negative way.

Is there too much backstory?

Readers are not interested in the detailed biography of your character. For the most part, they do not enjoy prologues.

Is there opposition for the protagonist?

Conflict is created when an antagonist is introduced to stop the protagonist from achieving the goal.

Does the overall plot make sense?

If it does not, we tend to include things which seem to have no reason for being in the story.  A good idea can turn into a maze of irritation if the author does not know where the story is headed.


Elements of WritingWriting Craft

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