Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Checking the Plot Elements

I've got the week off from my regular drudge, and so I'm working on some rewrites of my WIP (Murder on the Mississippi).

Writing a murder mystery is a challenge to me. But it's fun, too. Using the "Plot W" I've gotten into the last portion of the book. But I'm finding myself going back over the beginning. Without a strong beginning, it all will be useless. Not only that, I'm having to bookmark numerous elements in the story (like the clues), so that I can see where I've put what. I tend to forget where I've put certain things in the story--or if I have!

But back to the elements of the story. I've gone back to a very good source by Aimee L. Salter. Still great advice from this author, who not only goes step by step, helping novices and possibly those who've been writing for years, and need a kick in the butt to remember certain things. (She has altered her posts, and some have disappeared, but many still remain. I couldn't find the Plot W, anywhere.)

In working out the plot, as we all know, the very beginning has to capture your audience. There's something Aimee calls "The Inciting Incident" and I've provided the link here so that when you're ready you can go and check this out. It has been something I've forgotten, and needed to review. There are at least 4 things you have to do either in your first chapter, or as soon as possible, in your book, so that people can not only connect, but want to read on.

Here's a round up of these first things in a book's plot you should check that you've covered.

1). Status Quo
2). Change to Status Quo
3). Affected Character 
4). The Consequences
5). Inciting Incident
Go to the link for explanations of each one of these.

Aimee's plot elements have been something I've followed for a  long while, and every one of her installments are well-written and worth checking out, no matter if you've been writing a long time, or are a novice.

All for today, my writerly friends. Gotta work on my beginning a little bit more.


  1. I've always been a pantster when it came to writing (or anything else, now that I think about it). I wrote very basic outlines, but that was about it.

    1. I've done both. I find using some sort of plot elements help me see where I'm going, and what I might be doing wrong. I never outline, but I make notes as to what I think I want to happen. And then, also, my characters take up the baton and wiggle out of my control.

    2. I've found now that I'm old and having trouble seeing and remembering things, I do need a road map!


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