Tips on writing a novel plot

Have you had feedback saying that your dialogue is awkward or unrealistic?

Tips on writing a novel plot

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Return to Content Story plots: The key is to make famous story types and scenarios your own: Dragons that go on rampages overpopulate fantasy worlds.

Women in distress who need men to save them overpopulate romance novels. The revelation that characters have been dreaming can seem too trite or tidy an explanation for bizarre or puzzling events.

The third example is a plot point rather than an entire story idea. But it tells something valuable about being original: Stereotypes are the footmen of unoriginal stories and dangerous politics.

One approach is to combine familiar elements into something new: What happens if you combine these two ideas, however? Then things start to get interesting. If, for example, an inhabitant of the dragon-struck town in the above example investigates the lair, perhaps they could find clues suggesting there is no dragon at all.

The dragon could turn out to be a metaphor for a self-created terror striking fear into the town from within. Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, said the idea for her series emerged while she was channel-surfing. This resulted in her story of a society where there are compulsory fights to the death between young people.

What Makes a Good Story? (Tips for Young Authors)

Take the same approach to combining different plot ideas. See what creative energy you can unleash when you combine different scenarios or tropes and give them your own unique spin. Character or group goes on a crucial mission Homeward bound: Adventurer travels, has life-changing experiences and returns Comedy: Chaos and confusion give way to resolution Tragedy: Characters pay the cost of having flaws Rebirth: Character emerges transformed from a process of self-discovery Each of these plot types has its own pitfalls to avoid if you want your story plots to be original.

The home, the handsome prince, the happiness. A path from plot point A to C via B can feel unoriginal and predictable.

So how do you take common story plots and make them your own?


This would be boring if the progression to the final conflict felt very linear. This is where subplots help you craft familiar source material into something more personal and compelling. To be more original in your own writing, do some digging to find out what novels in your genre are considered particularly original.

Approach your story as a reader

Read a few and ask yourself: What familiar genre elements e. The story belongs to a specific genre e.

A story that contains familiar elements lets us place it within a specific context and heritage. Focus on how you can harness familiar story ideas to your own ends, rather than make your story absurd simply for the sake of originality. The truth ultimately is that fiction is most original when you express your personal, unique combination of perspective, passion and interests in your writing.Structure and plot enable readers to connect to the story you want to tell.

Save 84% on this premium collection of 11 resources on mastering these elements. Creating a scene list changed my novel-writing life, and doing the same will change yours too.

Includes examples of the scene lists from famous authors. What's the most important thing about writing dialogue in fiction? If it sounds like a real-world conversation, you've gone horribly wrong.

9 thoughts on “ 8 Practical Tips to Avoid Too Much Plot in Your Novel ” Rich February 28, at pm.

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I read your article with growing horror, until three words occurred to me: GAME OF THRONES. Now, true–George R R Martin is a singular talent at weaving multiple plots together and making all the characters come alive. By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Writing can be a daunting task, but it can be even more daunting for those who know they want to write, but just aren't sure how to do you focus on first?

tips on writing a novel plot

Find out what and which are fiction writing elements in this post. Character, plot, sub-plot and conflict: these are the fiction writing elements. Read more.

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