Plotting Basics

Earlier this week I posted about November being National Novel Writing Month. Even if you aren’t officially participating in the event, you might pose yourself a similar challenge over the course of 30 days. Some of us have story ideas practically oozing from our skin, while others are just left with the passion to write but don’t have the tiniest clue about what. I came across a fun (in my lame writing nerd opinion) article on Slate that talked about Wycliff Aber Hill’s 1919 manual for screenwriters. Screenwriter or not, you will find his plotting section helpful. His claim was that there are only 37 basic dramatic situations that can be used to start plotting for your story. I thought this to be pretty cool because it shows how basic plotting can start off as. You don’t need an intricate web of interlocking events right from the start. All you need is a basic idea for your plot’s ‘situation’ and you will be surprised what you can do with it once you start writing. Hopefully these suggestions will light the fire to your very own novel writing month. I outlined the basics below, but click the link above to get more details.

plotting

HAPPY SITUATIONS:

  1. Rescue
  2. Lost loved ones recovered.
  3. A miracle of God.

PATHETIC SITUATIONS:

  1. Entreaty.
  2. Love’s obstacles.
  3. Rivalry between unequals.
  4. Rivalry between kinsmen.
  5. A mystery

INSPIRING SITUATIONS:

  1. Loving an enemy.
  2. Sacrifice of one’s self for an ordeal.
  3. Sacrifice for one’s self for kindred (or friend).

DISASTROUS SITUATIONS WITHOUT CRIMINAL INTENT:

  1. Possessed of an ambition.
  2. Fatal indiscretion.
  3. Pursuit.
  4. Rebellion.
  5. Enmity between kinsmen.
  6. Effort to obtain.
  7. Daring effort.
  8. Vengeance.
  9. Kindred avenged against kindred.
  10. Mistaken jealousy.
  11. Involuntary criminal love.

DISASTROUS SITUATIONS WITH CRIMINAL INTENT:

  1. Struggle against God.
  2. Abduction.
  3. To sacrifice all for a passion.
  4. Adultery.
  5. Adultery with murder.
  6. Criminal love.

TRAGIC SITUATIONS:

  1. Loved ones lost.
  2. Falling a prey.
  3. Disaster.
  4. An innocent suspected.
  5. Obligation to sacrifice loved ones.
  6. To learn of the dishonor of a loved one.
  7. Mental derangement.
  8. To kill a kinsmen or friend before recognition.
  9. Remorse

Write on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s