Basic Rules and Steps for Writing a Good Fiction Plot

June 21, 2015

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Plot Your Story  



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Writing fiction is not very difficult. But writing it well can be quite a challenge. For any kind of fiction writing, one of the most important and basic steps is to come up with a plot that is engaging, believable and exciting. This is also the most difficult part. The quality of your plot will determine how good or bad your piece of fiction writing will turn out to be. Here are a few basics to keep in mind while writing a good fictional plot.

Three basic rules for good plot construction

  • Motivation of the protagonist must be clear right from the beginning and must be the driving force behind all their actions. This motivation should be something that is identifiable and one that readers can connect to easily.  
  • The story should be a dynamic one that constantly changes. There should be something constantly taking place. A static piece of fiction is boring.
  • Control your characters, while letting them take a life of their own. Do not let the characters take over your thoughts and ideas so much that you do not know here your piece of fiction is heading.

Three basic steps to create a great plot

  • Start by making an outline of your piece of fiction. This outline should have basic details such as the storyline, the main characters, subplots or stories within the mains story, and the general setting of the story, like the time period and the country/city. This first step should not go into too much details and should only be a skeleton on which to build your piece of fiction.
  • Decide on a goal of the story and the protagonist. This will determine how your story starts and regresses. Then decide on a consequence. Will it end well or badly? Will the goal be achieved or will the protagonist fail? What will happen if the protagonist reaches or fails to reach the goal?
  • One you have these details, you can start thinking about the other characters, details of the setting of the story and a more detailed progression of the storyline. This way, you will get a good idea of the elements (facts, science fiction, fantasy, mythology) you will use in your piece of fiction.

This can become a quick guide for you, a checklist of sorts that you can look at to ensure you have not missed out on any basics of plot construction for fiction writing.

If you missed the first post in the Plot Your Story series, catch it here
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