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The Secrets to an Exceptional Plot

Guest Writer December 23, 2020

The Secrets to an Exceptional Plot

Writing is never easy, and writing a good story is even a more challenging task. What makes a good story are the distinctive and relevant elements that lie deep within it. One of which is the plot. It is arguably the most crucial element of a novel. It is the actual story on which the entire book is based on. The plot is the channel from which other essential elements of a story develops. It hooks readers compelling them to flip to the next page to understand the sequence of events that makes up the story. 

You can have an exceptional plot through brainstorming or getting inspired by personal experiences, similar to author Gerald L. Nardella who reflected his fear and insecurity on Playing Hurt book plot. If you dream of writing a best-selling book, you must develop an exceptional plot, full of suspense and ups and downs. Here are some secrets to creating a unique plot that will take readers on an unforgettable journey. 

Break the Rules

There are basic rules to plotting. There is no harm when following the rules; however, it does not guarantee an exceptional plot. You can take the advice pointed by the rules, but sometimes you have to break the rules to make the most of the plot you have in mind. Your plot develops within itself and the writer without any obligations. That said, good writers often break the rules. Sticking to the rules would extract the creative elements from your plot and result in unoriginal and familiar stories. You can always take the wealth of information, making them guides but don’t allow the rules to conquer how you write out the plot. Pick areas to break the rules to rev away from a recognizable plot sequence. The goal here is to surprise readers and keep them hanging until the end of the book. Break the rules to create significant impacts in the book. 

Flesh Out the Plot

A good plot has an evident beginning, middle, and end to make sense of the action. Keep in mind that the plot is the problem and resolution of the story. You have to maintain focus and flesh out your plot. Everything that will occur and be introduced in the book must push forward your novel towards the resolution. Spend time considering the details of the story, even if it’s the little ones. As the story progresses, more chaos and problems will occur, there will be turning points and character movement from one value to another. Hence, focus on your idea. What makes a good plot is a resolution. Do not let your audience down. They would spend hours, days, and even weeks on your book to have a flat turning point. Remember, the end of the plot is the last thing that will be embedded in the minds of your reader. 

Use Plot Outline as a Guide

Every writer has a plot outline before diving into writing the story. The plot outline tends to appear like a synopsis but is generally longer and more detailed. In comics, this can be identified as storyboarding. The plot outline lays out the flow of the story and scenes. This helps authors to focus on the story at hand. However, this should be used as a guide and not an iron grid. This may help you stay on track and keep you from getting stuck, but this is flexible. You can bend plots to your will and make them fit the plot you want to pursue. Trust your guts and go with how you feel, or else the premise will end up implausible.

Make Every Character in the Story Involved

Often, writers highlight the main characters, events, and settings to create a great plot. Authors love to develop characters; however, they hate describing or entangling them in the entire story. Minor characters do not have to appear in every chapter but don’t appear in just one scene. Make every character you’ve written involved in the whole plot. Provide them with a character motivation as this will inevitably lead to significant events and subplots. Characters that will not bring impact to the story must be removed. Each character you introduce must have a central purpose in the story. Characters matter; therefore, learn how to pay equal attention to every character. The action of the character is a major part of making a gripping plot. Lastly, use a three-dimensional character will give dimension to your plot. A perfect character with no imperfections will kill your overall plot. 

As a final note, plot development is not easy. It takes a long time and practice to achieve a great plot. You will undergo plenty of trials and errors; once you’ve got it, you can come up with an exceptional plot. Your first attempt might not be perfect and may end up not succeeding, but if you don’t let this hurdle stop you, you will rise and create an exceptional plot that will take readers on a unique reading experience. 

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Gerald L. Nardella got his accounting degree from Montana State University. Before establishing his own CPA . . .

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