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Writing: Plot and Conflict

3 August 2017 Leave a comment

Plot and Conflict
What are the essential elements within a story?
What is the start, middle, and ending or a story?
What is plot?
What is conflict?
What is a story arc?
And how is a climax of a story defined?
Then, how do you keep people interested in your plot, how do you create characters that people will have a vested interest in, what is the meaning of life?

These and many other similar questions appear to be unsolvable. At least that is what it feels like when you are preparing to write a great story. Or are even in the middle of writing a story. Hell, sometimes you question all these things after the story has been written!

There are soooooo many answers to these questions, but often they are hard to understand because they are also often subjective rather than objective definitions. Regardless, I”m going to at least begin with some information on plot and conflict as I see it. You should also do your own research and see what you think is correct for you.

Plot appears to be your “moving from A to B” story. It is what happens in a story and creates your underlining theme of a story. For example in a crime or mystery, there is a person killing people. Then the person is caught by police.

Simple, right? However, you would often add something more to this considering the plot looks a little thin. So maybe add a C in there as well, so it becomes A to B to C.
A: Person killing people.
B: Character(s) hunt down killer.
C: Police character catches killer.

What about other plots?
A person is growing up in the outback, then moves to the city and finds that he or she likes it there more.
Or,
A horse is being trained to be fast, but then eventually becomes the rider’s best friend and they decide to not go in the big race for fear of injury to the horse.

Plot seems to involve a conflict as well as a climax (climax is when a major decision is made) that determines what the plot outcome will be. Plot also draws a reader into the story and makes the reader want to know about the lives of the characters so that they can understand the decisions they make. Generally, what the main character wants, needs, or is even avoiding becomes the outome of that situation, which is the plot.

The decision the character makes, or one that is made for them by circumstance, is essentially the conflict within the story. This is what creates the tension within a story and leads to the climax. It is the problem/dilema/change of life that will take place. And it is also what creates the story arc. And it does not have to be a negative and positve force, It can be 2 positive things that conflict: Becomming a lawyer or becomming a doctor. However, more conflict will likely be added because that is a pretty thin conflict.

All these elemnts appear entwined and have trouble not co-existing without each other, like a deconstructed burger at a hipster cafe. However, if you want it to be a burger . . . a really good burger, then you need all the pieces together so that the reader enjoys eating the burger and is satisfied with the flavour throughout the story.
I may have gotten too involved with the anology there, but I think I’ll let it stand as is.

If you have an opinion, whether it be different or the same, feel free to add comments.


 

If you would like to guest post on the Melbourne Writers Group Blog, here are the rules:
1) it can’t be about you. It has to be about writing that will help with other people’s writing.
2) it has to be factual unless you add the words: this is my opinion. And also add other helpful information such as links to web sites that your opinion is based on if you can. Or add why you believe this, and that you are open to discussions on your opinion.
3) Personal experiences are fine, but don’t dwell on them, keep to the details on what you want to say that you think will help with other people’s writing efforts.
4) No preaching. Don’t tell people what they should do. Suggestions are fine.
5) No info for the sole purpose of getting people to buy something from you or go to your website.

Contact Mat Clarke at: matclarke.author@gmail.com to add to this blog. Thanks.

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