Some people claim to have lost the plot. Others never had it in the first place. Worse, few get so tangled in the weave of their own plots that it becomes a web from which escape is impossible.
The Plot, arguably, is the story. Traditionally the Plot follows the beginning, the middle and the end. Sure twists can be thrown in here and there, but even these continue to follow the flow of the story, furthering it towards the end state.
Now, the Plot of a story is open to wider public opinion in its drive, (and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – please comment below) but in my eyes plot is either ‘character’ or ‘world’ driven, for the most part. And from this, the drive is caused by one of two major changes: a) someone/thing arrives, or b) some/one thing leaves.
Stories are born from events, events are born from change and difference. So, every day of our lives is a plot, but are they interesting enough to make a bestseller? Not likely. (Although, I’ve had a few hair raisers in my day job!).
Plot can be simple, or a many layered design. The extent in which the writer is willing to delve grows over time, but when crafting your story make sure to keep the plot clear for the readers’ benefit. Suspense is one thing, but be careful of employing a far too cryptic/blind leading the blind approach. On the other hand, don’t give the reader the crib notes that give the story away before you get to the good bits!
When planning your plot, I don’t think that each and every step needs to be written in stone from the get-go. Personally, as long as I have an idea of ‘The End’, and a vague idea of how I’m going to get there, then I’m otherwise happy. The bits in between fill themselves, and leaving these gaps allow me the freedom to write on the fly. Flexibility is never a bad thing after all!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go find the map and compass to continue my writings!