Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Writing Craft: Top Ten Plotting Problmes

Okay, so you've entered a few contests by now, or maybe you've sent partials or fulls to agents or editors. Do they fault your plot?

Well, take a gander at Alicia Rasley's list of Top 10 Plotting Problems. Which are you guilty of?

Number one according to Rasley:

1. Whose Story Is This, Anyway? The Plight of the Protagonist: The biggest single plot problem I see in my judging, editing, and critiquing is actually a character problem: the passive or undermotivated protagonist-- that is, a protagonist who is not truly involved in causing the plot to unfold. Beware of the victim-protagonist (bad things happen to him, and he suffers a lot), the passive protagonist (he witnesses the plot events, but he doesn't participate), the bumbling protagonist (he acts, but stupidly, without learning from his mistakes). The central character doesn't have to be likeable (though it helps) or (god forbid) without faults, but he does have to be motivated enough to act and encounter obstacles and change in response to plot events. Ideally, the protagonist should be involved in nearly every event, and his decisions and actions should drive the plot.


Josh said...

I think I've done them all at one point or another. I wonder what happens if you get all ten plot problems on a single page...maybe it shrivels up into a black hole of prose and sucks in the rest of the story into oblivion.

Mirtika said...

HAHAHAHHA. We should immediately conduct this experiment. You first.