Six impossible things

Posts Tagged plot

What if…

One of the really common recommendations for generating plot ideas is “Ask yourself What if… about something.” It’s the foundation of Alternate History stories, from changes that everyone recognizes – What if the South had won the Civil War? What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo? What […]

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Later developments

The ideas I was talking about in the last post are seldom ready-to-write when they arrive. Even the ones that look ready to go often turn out not to be when one gets right down to it. I’ve talked before about the pre-writing story development, so this […]

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Last plot post for a while, I promise

A few more words about plot before I move on to something else for a while: First off, dozens of people besides Heinlein have come up with different sets of basic plots; he’s not the last word on the subject. Most of them have a lot more […]

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When it IS a plot

The reason I started the last post with a bunch of examples of what plot is not was twofold: first, as I said, lots of people’s plot-problems seem to happen because they are starting from something that sort of looks like a plot, but actually isn’t one, […]

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Andromeda Redux: Starting points

One of the things that seems to confuse a lot of people about plot, especially at the start of a story, is that they’re misidentifying what they have to hand, what they want to do, and how to get from one to another. What they have is […]

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Plot, development, stakes, and patterns

One final word about what’s at stake: the real stakes, the thing that is of greatest ultimate importance to the main character, not only are not necessarily connected to the perceived stakes, they don’t have anything whatever to do with the type of story you are writing. […]

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Andromeda and More Stakes

Lots of writers have a problem figuring out what the actual stakes are (as opposed to the perceived stakes). Quick review: the actual stakes are what’s really at stake for the character; the perceived stakes are what the character currently thinks is at stake. One reason for […]

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Stakes

OK it looks like I’m going to do a series of posts on plot. Let’s start with the stakes. Objectively speaking, the stakes are the thing that is to be lost or gained, depending on how things go. The stakes are crucial; if they don’t matter, the […]

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Why “There’s no Plot” Sometimes

Could you try an entry or two on punching up a sense of ‘there really is a plot here”? I’ve read several that I’ve thought were good but my husband grumbles had no plot. *I* thought there was one, but it’s not getting across to him. And […]

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Ideas and plot-noodling

Deep Lurker wanted to know what my ideas look like when I come up with them, specifically whether they’re just concepts or whether they have skeletal plots attached. Unsurprisingly, the answer is “It varies.” The slightly longer answer is “It varies A LOT.” To give you a […]

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