Plot, Writing, and Fairy Tales
Your wish is my command!
Anonymous asked: I want to write a contemporary fantasy story about faeries. But where I excel in characterizations and world building, I lack the ability to come up with plot or conflict that drives the story? What advice do you have for someone who struggles with plot? Particularly for a story they want to make into a series?
This was always my problem, so I have a whole bunch of advice about this.
Basically, the first thing you need is for your characters to want things. The strength of a character’s desire pulls the reader through the book. So isolate each character’s particular want line.
Secondly, is this a story with an antagonist? If so, working on that person and developing his/her/its wants, needs, and plans. That will help you start to see how they impact your protagonist.
Thirdly, think about the stories you love. What kinds of plots do they have? Are they sweeping political tales (like Swordspoint or Game of Thrones)? Are they stories of fighting epic evil (like Lord of the Rings or the Prydain Chronicles)? Are they stories about coming to grips with your own choices in your own life (A Certain Slant of Light;Interview with the Vampire) in which there are no true antagonists? Pick your favorites and map out the plot in broad sketches. This will help you think about what an outline might look like.
Fourthly, steal. I took a lot of fairy tale plots and used those until I was able to have a better sense of how story worked. Using fairy tales as the backbone of a story is perfect, because they are all plot without much characterization at all. Fairy tale characters don’t even have names — they’re the woodsman, or the prince, or the witch — so they’re ripe to be developed into characters in their own right who will then warp the original story in interesting ways. And using fairy tale or folkloric plotlines in a book about faeries feels pretty appropriate.
I hope that helps!172 notes
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