To write a successful story, it’s important to understand why plot is important. It’s an essential part of creative writing. Plot is what drives the story and engages the reader. It makes us want to know what happens next. Without a strong plot, your story will likely be boring and uninteresting. So how can you develop a compelling plot? Read on for tips!
Plot Is a Map of Where the Story Is Going
A story is like a journey. The reader begins at the beginning, travels through the middle, and finally reaches the end. Along the way, the reader experiences ups and downs, twists and turns.
But for the journey to be fun, there must be a clear destination in mind. That’s where the plot comes in. In a more complex work of fiction, for example, a novel, you will often find the main plot and a subplot in close harmony.
The plot is a map that shows where the story is going. It helps build conflict and create tension that keeps the reader engaged. Without a clear plot, a story can wander aimlessly and leave the reader confused.
If you don’t know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there, why should anyone else? Your characters need a destination, otherwise, why would they care about getting anywhere at all? While you may not always know exactly where your story is going, a strong plot can help keep it on track.
Plot is Central to Story Structure
Plot structure is the structure of a story. It’s where your characters go, what they do, and how they feel about it. Plot makes something exciting or thrilling; it gives you the assurance that things will turn out well in the end.
Plot achieves this through a series of changes through time; or rather through the course of your book. Among which are:
- Rising action
- Falling action
You will sometimes see these represented in a plot diagram.
Based on this kind of theory, authors will often construct a plot outline prior to settling down to actually write a story. Detailed outlines can usually flush out plot holes – places where the narrative doesn’t make sense because an essential piece of information is missing.
An important plot principle is Freytag’s Pyramid, a plot structure based on fear and motivation:
What makes something interesting isn’t just that it happens – it happens in an order that makes sense and has meaning beyond just entertainment value.
A Roadmap to Help Writers Guide Readers
Without a plot, a story is like a car without a driver – it can go in any direction and the reader will quickly lose interest. A plot provides a purpose and direction and helps the writer keep the story on track and on point.
It also ensures that the various elements of the story – characters, setting, dialog, etc. – fit together. – work together to create a coherent whole. In short, a plot is important in making a story interesting and easy to follow.
It helps readers visualize the characters’ actions in relation to each other in time and space, and how they’re connected (even if those relationships are complicated). A plot also informs us about how things change over time (for better or worse)-it helps us understand what causes change and why things move in a certain direction.
Points Along the Road
A plot includes all the major turning points in a story, as well as minor events that affect the development of the story but aren’t necessarily important enough in themselves to be called major turning points. Each one is a plot point.
By establishing the major events of the story in advance, the author can ensure that each scene moves the narrative forward and the story moves toward its resolution.
Without it, stories would quickly lose their way and drift into aimless aberrations. With it, however, authors can captivate readers from beginning to end.
Readers Are More Willing to Suspend Their Disbelief When They Like the Characters
Readers are more likely to suspend their disbelief if they like the characters. In other words: If readers can connect with the characters and see them as relatable people, they’re more willing to accept the events of the story, even if they’re far-fetched.
This is one of the reasons why plot is so important. A well-crafted plot not only contains events that are believable but also introduces readers to characters with whom they can personally identify. When readers empathize with the characters, they’re also better able to relate to the story and are more willing to suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy the story.
Done right, plot should introduce readers to characters that feel real and evoke an emotional response. When a story accomplishes all of this, readers are willing to suspend their disbelief to enjoy the story.
Characters Are More Important Than Plot
Plot, however, is not the most important part of a story. Even though you can follow a good plot without caring about the characters, it’s hard to care about them if you don’t like them. It’s easier to suspend your disbelief if you like the characters.
The importance of characters is often overlooked by writers who focus too much on the plot and not enough on the characters. If readers don’t care about your characters, all the exciting twists and turns are meaningless. That’s because readers can only accept them if they care about what happens to the people whose lives change so dramatically.
Characters make stories interesting and compelling for readers, and they make them memorable and relatable. The more time we spend with someone in our daily lives, whether friends or family members, the more familiar certain things become to us, making us feel comfortable around them, even if they’ve different personalities than we do.
Character development is critical to the success of any plot.
Plot Provides Writers With an Outline for How Things Need to Happen in Order to Make the Story Effective
Every story needs plot to be effective.
Without a plot, a story can quickly become disjointed and difficult to follow. In addition, plot helps enhance the emotional impact of story by providing tension and conflict.
By carefully planning the sequence of events, an author can write a story that’s both entertaining and meaningful. Whether you’re writing a novel, a short story, or even just an essay, remember that a well-crafted plot is crucial to making your story compelling and entertaining for your readers.
It Helps to Know What You Want Your Reader to Think of Your Characters
When you write a story, one of the most important things to consider is what you want your reader to think about your characters. What impression do you want the reader to have of them?
What’re their most important qualities?
This is where plot comes in. The events that occur in your story contribute to how your reader perceives your characters.
For example, if you want your reader to perceive your main character as brave and heroic, you should put them in a situation where they’ve to overcome a challenge or save someone’s life. On the other hand, if you want your reader to perceive your antagonist as evil and manipulative, you should write a scene in which he hurts or betrays someone.
In short, with the plot of your story, you can control how your readers think about your characters. So if you don’t know how to get your readers to perceive your characters in a certain way, first think about what kind of plot will best support that impression.
Conflict Is the Foundation of Any Good Plot
Conflict and dramatic tension are the basis of every good plot.
What’s a conflict? A conflict is anything that stands in the way of a character’s goals. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something that gets in the way.
And it doesn’t have to be something external, like another character, it can be something internal, like a character’s own doubts or fears.
Conflict creates tension, so readers turn the page to find out what happens next. And without conflict, there’s no story. That’s why conflict is so important. It’s not just about two people fighting; it’s about writing a story that engages readers from beginning to end.
It Should Be Based on Something That Has Happened in Stories Before and That People Expect to Happen Again
Many people think of a plot simply as the sequence of events in a story. In fact, however, plot is much more than that.
To be effective, a plot must be based on something that’s already happened in other stories and that people expect to happen again. This is because people are naturally drawn to familiar patterns and expect certain things to happen in a story.
For example, most people expect the protagonist to triumph in the end. If a story deviates too much from these expectations, it can be confusing and off-putting to readers.
That’s why it’s important for writers to keep this in mind when developing a plot. By building their story on familiar patterns, they can ensure that their readers will stay with them throughout.
Good Plotting Requires Skillful Pacing, Characterization, and Setting Development
A good plot is important for any story, whether it’s a novel, a short story, or even a screenplay. Without a strong plot, a story quickly loses the interest of the audience.
So what makes a good plot? There are three key elements:
- clever pacing
- well-developed characters
- and a richly detailed setting.
Pace sets the rhythm of the story and is critical to keeping the reader engaged. A story that moves too quickly comes across as rushed and confusing, while one that moves too slowly comes across as sluggish and boring. The best stories balance these two extremes by gradually revealing information and building suspense at the right moments.
Characterization is another important element of plot. Readers must be able to identify with the story’s protagonists in order to follow their journey. This means being able to empathize with them, find them sympathetic, and allow for their weaknesses and shortcomings. In addition, the secondary characters should be rounded and believable, giving depth and structure to the story’s world.
Finally, setting is an essential part of any plot. A well-chosen setting can provide atmosphere and give clues to the characters’ motivations and backstory. In addition, an effective setting helps readers visualize the story’s events and easily distinguish them from one another.
Plot Devices Are Used to Drive a Narrative
Plot devices are tools or techniques that, when used in cohesion with the overall plot and story, help to drive the narrative forward.
Some common examples of plot devices are:
- Red herring: a deliberate distraction to set up a false expectation in the mind of the reader
- Love triangle: a love story involving three characters
- Cliffhanger: an ending left unresolved, so people come back for more
- Deus ex machina: a powerful character or force that steps in to resolve complex problems.
Plots Can Be Simple or Complex, but They Must Always Be Logical and Believable
Plots can be simple or complex, but they must always be logical and believable.
A well-executed plot keeps readers turning the pages, eager to know what happens next. A poorly executed plot, on the other hand, can frustrate and confuse readers.
When planning your story, make sure that each event leads logically to the next. Otherwise, your story will seem contrived and unbelievable. Even if your plot is relatively simple, it still needs to make sense. More so in fiction than in nonfiction, by the way!
The Best Plots Are Those That Surprise the Reader Without Being Too Contrived
The best plots are those that surprise the reader without being too contrived.
Of course, there are many ways to surprise a reader, and not all of them involve plot twists. Sometimes the element of surprise can come simply from subverting expectations.
For example, if it looks like a character is going to fall, only to turn the corner, that can be just as satisfying as a traditional ending with a twist. The most important thing is that the plot feels earned, not like it was put in just for cheap thrills.
When done right, a well-crafted plot can take a story from good to great. That’s why it’s worth the effort to get your plot development right.
Authors to Study to Better Understand Plot
- William Shakespeare
- EM Forster
- JRR Tolkien
- Harper Lee
- Charles Dickens