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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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Categories: Writing Groups

Jacqueline Cripps: “WTF Is Happening With My Life?” Book Launch

23 April 2017 Leave a comment

Join the hilariously honest Jacqueline at Brighton library in Victoria as she guides you through her journey of getting her sh*t together!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Jac

2.00pm – Drinks and nibbles
2.30pm – Author talk with Jacqueline
3.00pm – Book signing
4.00pm – Event close.

For the launch only, all attendees can get Jacqueline’s debut novel at a special discounted price of $25!

facebook.com/jacquelinecrippsauthor

Getting Published 1 day course

28 June 2016 Leave a comment

Getting Published 1 day course

Saturday 23 July, 10 – 4 pm

‘It was great how she gave so much information in such a short time, precisely and clearly. The course absolutely met my expectations and way above and is definitely value for money.’ – Amanda, Melbourne, 2015. Sarah Menary, who visited us at Café Giraffe on Saturday 18 June, also rates this course highly. Find out what really goes on inside a publishing house, how publishers make their choices and how to improve one’s chances of publication. The program will include sessions on sure-fire proposals, editing your first page, opening chapters, how to write a great covering letter and the top ten reasons manuscripts are rejected.


 

faberwritingacademy.com.au

Categories: Writing Groups

Anthology of short stories III – Writers wanted!

14 December 2012 4 comments

Anthology III 2013

Themed: April Fools

Brought to you by the Melbourne Writers’ Social Group

Sponsored by the Story Mint

 

 

WRITERS WANTED!

Read on to be a part of this amazing anthology of short stories.

 

All styles of writing are eligible for the anthology. Register between now and February 1st 2013. Create a great story and get it to a fully edited stage before March 2013.

All guidelines will be emailed to you after you register.

 

This is our third anthology of short stories and will be published on April 1st 2013. Themed April Fools.

Our anthologies are born from a different theme with each publication. The first being, Valentine’s Day (2012). As you would expect many of the tales were quite sweet. Yet, we also had stories that endevoured to chill the hearts of our reader’s.

Our following anthology was published December 2012, The Holiday Season in Melbourne. Each unique Melbourne tale satisfyingly different and touching on a wide variety of holiday seasoned themes.

 

You can download either of these anthologies online:

 

Anthology I:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/130549

Anthology II:

http://www.amazon.com/MWSG-Anthology-II-Melbourne-ebook/dp/B00AMPC70O/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1355349010&sr=8-3&keywords=anthology+melbourne

 

We don’t mind what genre you choose, but you must include some reference to April Fools, no matter how small. And a reference to Melbourne (Australia) must be included, even if in passing.

One submission per person only.

Word count for you story (fiction or non-fiction): 1000-2000 words. Unfortunately we can not have any exceptions to this rule. Even if it is one word outside of this limit your story will not be considered.

If you intend on submitting a poem, then the word count is different: 500 words maximum. No minimum.

 

Please register your interest to be involved with this anthology by emailing Mat Clarke: matclarke.author@gmail.com

Registration opens December 14 2012 and closes February 1st 11.59pm.

After you have emailed Mat Clarke you willll be contacted within 3 business days and emailed an easy to fill in form to read and complete.

The information emailed to you includes the process we go through to ensure we publish quality work. Please make sure you read the information carefully.

You can of course email Mat back if unsure about anything.

 

All money earned from the sales of the anthologies (a very small amount) is put back into running the next one and holding the weekly meetings and other events with the Melbourne Writers’ Social Group – which are free to attend :)Anthology II

April Fools

Brought to you by the Melbourne Writers’ Social Group

Sponsored by the Story Mint

New publisher wants you!

10 November 2011 2 comments

Hey, if you would like to get to know a publisher while she is starting up, then see this note directly from her:

“If you are not yet a member of The Story Mint go to http://www.thestorymint.com/user

and register. This is an ‘invite only’ as The Story Mint is still in its early developmental stage.”

There is an area you can submit a full length manuscript (novel) for her to consider.

A serial story that you can add to (although all chapters are taken for this current story – so maybe just give feedback on chapters already written, for now).

A place you can receive computer generated feedback on 250 words or so.

She is also looking for feedback on her site since it is only in its BETA stage and will need a lot of work before it is up and running correctly and is more appealing to the eye.

I hear the best way to getting published is to get involved with publishers that are just starting up. So now here’s your chance!!

P.S. The about page is not accessible currently for people without a username, therefore you have only what I wrote above as information to what you will find on the site. I’ll contact Suraya (the publisher in NZ) to see if she is willing to change this. You can also find here on LinkedIn if you want to chat to her first: http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/suraya-dewing/20/943/31a or email at suraya@thestorymint.com

Melb-Lit Weekday Meetup

13 October 2011 Leave a comment

Starting on 19 October 2011, the Melb-Lit Writing Group will be complementing their Saturday meetups with weekday meetups on Wednesdays at 3:00 pm at the Riverland Bar and Cafe, Vaults 1-9, near Federation Square.

Interested writers should bring a pen and five copies of up to 2,000 – 3,000 words of a work in progress. The way it works is that everyone passes out copies of their work to be read on the spot. Once everyone has read your work, the paper copies with edits are returned and verbal feedback is given in a friendly and respectful round-robin style format. Then the group moves to the next writer and repeats the process.

This a great way to get immediate feedback by published writers, improve your craft, help others improve theirs, network, and enjoy the scenic outdoors along the Yarra.

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