Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writing Plots and Subplots

Writing plots, subplots, suspense, problems, and a majority of other things are just some of the things that I have trouble with. Every writer goes through that time where they discover that they really aren't that good, despite what they think, were told, or use to think. Some writers can get though this slowed learning curve and eventually become great writers. Others put down their pens and never pick them up again. That story is for a whole other post.

I think I've gone through a learning curve where I realized that, no, I am not better than anyone else and if I want to be better, I have to work for it. I figured that I had to start somewhere and that somewhere is plots and subplots. Plots and subplots are perhaps, at least to me, the most complicated thing about novels. There can be anywhere from one plot to one plot and an infinity of subplots. For me, keeping track of all those layers is a hard task and finding a way to make sure they all are ended or resolved by the end of the book is nearly impossible.

So I did some research. And I found one thing to help me.

The ABC Tracker

The ABC tracker by C.S. Lakin is really easy and helps make things much less complicated. 'A' is the main plot, the over-arcing plot. Usually the main plot, or Plot A, is the protagonist's main goal. In Harry Plotter, the main plot was Harry and Voldemort battling to the death. Most of the time, a story with just plot A is really boring. You don't just want to see Harry battle Voldemort. You want to live through all of the adventure and tension it takes to get to that battle. Plot B is the first subplot. Plot B should strengthen A and make Plot A interesting. This subplot is the second most important subplot in your story. A Plot B of Harry Potter could be Harry finding and destroying the Horcruxes.  From there is goes on in order of letter C, D, E...Z, AA, AB, AC, and into infinity.

Plot Outlines By Darcy Pattison
Fiction Factor
The Bookshelf Muse- Where I got the idea from C.S. Lakin. I tried the ABC Tracker and I liked it, so I wanted to blog about it.


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