Thursday, October 6, 2016

Is Plot Really That Important?

So you're writing your story it's coming along fine and then suddenly you realize that it's not really going anywhere or telling any real story. There's no inciting incident, or fight against evil, or dragons to defeat. Sounds pretty boring doesn't it. Plot is what motivates and moves the story, without it there's just no point. Plot is the central most important part of any story. Even the stories about the old man on the mountain have a plot. 

The Plot is your stories true north, and it helps to guide you through your story as it develops. For example the plot for the 3 part short story Blood Crimes is Anthony Archer trying to figure out what it was that made the blood taste so bad and make him age 10 years. Part 3 comes out Saturday so I don't want to spoil it for you. 

The Plot for The Hunter: The Death Of Jessica Goodwin, isn't that Jessica dies, it's how her sister deals with that death, deals with her sister being kidnapped, and how Lisa Goodwin responds to this horrible event. The death of her sister Jessica is just a plot device used to show you the reader how Lisa Goodwin becomes the P.I. and how what happens to her sister puts her life on a different path. Plot is guide you use when you start to feel that you've gotten lost in your story, you come back to the plot to find your way again. 

Plot is such a basic building block of writing that it's almost unthinkable that anyone would try to write a story without it. Seinfeld is a really good example of how important plot is for your story. For a show that was about nothing, each episode sure did have a plot to it. Whether it's the puffy shirt, or the rivalry he had with Newman, there was always a plot to move the story forward. And really to say it was a show about nothing is a real disservice to the show itself. It was a very well written show that was about something, or in this case someone. It showed the journey that Seinfeld went on with his friends, even though the last episode ended with them all in jail. 

A story without a plot, is a story without a point. Whether it's a sitcom like That 70's Show, or a drama like NCIS, every episode had a plot, because otherwise the characters would have nothing to do. So to answer the question, yes plot really is that important to your story. 

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