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The Elements of a Story Plot

If the plot of your story isn\\\'t moving the way you want, maybe the story elements are wrong. Check this out to see what is missing.

The Plot of a Story - Some books and stories fail simply because the writer does not know how to control the components of the plot. The plot must also be plausible in context with the genre. If you're writing sci-fi, it will obviously not be a real, yet must still seem credible. You have to convince your readers it could happen under those circumstances.

Make the Plot Different

Regardless of what some people believe, a story should rarely be true to life. Unless you are a very extraordinary person, a book that only contains a collection of events from your life, will probably be boring. The plot should be different to real life – perhaps, how people would like life to be.

Emotive influence is important to readers. If readers feel no emotional involvement with characters, they will stop reading. The way your characters react, the way they speak, is important in generating this response. This is where you bring your experience of life into play.

However, don’t write about your particular experience. Use your emotional understanding of such things as disaster, and unpleasant people to equip characters with realism. Transfer emotions you felt, not the predicament you were in. This is where your knowledge of life, can make your book stand out.

Whatever happens in the story, your plot should always follow the rules of cause, and effect. There must be good reason for things to happen. If things have happened there should be consequences. The plot should never be anything other than absolutely logical.

Essential Elements of a Story Plot

In order for a plot of a story to succeed it must contain

• Theme

• Action

• Emotion

• Balance

• Suspense

• Motivation

What the Elements of a Plot Should Contain

Plot Theme.

  • Plot Theme is the core message you want to put across.
  • Plot Theme is the foundation of your story, and you must link every character and event to it.
  • Plot Theme is what triggers emotion in your protagonists, and your readers.
  • Before starting to write, you should know what response you want to provoke in your readers. You must stir up intense emotions in your readers or they aren’t going to be readers for long.

Plot Action.

  • Plot Action does not necessarily equate to protagonists on the move.
  • Plot Action is the development of a situation, and is frequently nothing to do with quarrels.
  • Plot Action is often generated by tension.
  • For each action in the story, there should be an adequate reaction.
  • Plot Action can be generated by opposing opinions and beliefs that become increasingly apparent as the story develops.

Plot Emotion.

  • It is essential to rouse a response in readers. Unless readers care what happens to characters, they will stop reading.
  • Determine what emotion you hope to provoke in the plot, and put yourself in that mood before starting to write.
  • You must care what happens to your characters. If you don’t care, it's guaranteed that no one else will be.

Plot Balance

  • A story plot should be balanced, not an endless tirade of doom and gloom.
  • Some scenes should be quieter than others. These scenes should not be dull of course, but should invoke less uncertainty.
  • You should always give reader time to get their breath after high action.
  • To bring balance, vary the amount of action in scenes, and vary sentence length.

Plot Suspense

  • Provide central characters with misgiving and uncertainty, let them feel fear, but make sure the response is logical.
  • Every deed should be credible.
  • Never go over the top in order make the scene more exciting. Keep things realistic and your reader will believe it. Remember that less is more.

Plot Motivation

  • Never allow characters to do anything in your story without cause.
  • Plot Motivation should be the reason why a character responds in a particular way.
  • Plot Motivation is the cause of things happening - and readers should easily identify what that motivation is.
  • Plot Motivation is what drives the hero onward.

The elements of the plot must be fitting and in equilibrium. A plot will not be successful if any of the elements are missing or if they are not congruent.

Research the Plot of a Story

The story plot should be based on what you know. If you don't already know, find out before starting to write. Get your shoes on and visit places in your story, get your books out and sift through factual information. If you don’t research, it will clearly show.

Remember that after all these years of published books and stories; there is little chance of finding a completely original plot. Instead, unearth new ways of selling an old plot.

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Comments (2)

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I enjoyed the read. The flow of information was seamless and precise.

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