Friday Focus: The inescapable form of a plot

Today's Friday Focus is all about the plot (which is uh, kind of the most important part of a story). This formula may seem simple and oh-so-obvious, but sometimes it's harder than it really looks! Take it away, Mr. Gardner!

In nearly all good fiction, the basic - all but inescapable - plot form is this: A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition (perhaps including his own doubts), and so arrives at a win, lose, or draw.
- John Gardner

8 comments:

Summer said...

And in really good fiction, all three! ;-)

Travener said...

So that's what my book has been missing...

coffeelvnmom said...

LOL Travener!

And Summer, you mean the win, lose or draw part?

Robyn Bavati said...

If only writing a novel were that simple!

Lila Swann said...

I'm really intrigued by the "main character wants something and goes after it." I just sat here and thought about my novel and went, well, my MC doesn't really /want/ anything all that badly.

But then I realize that she does - she wants answers, knowledge, the truth. And in trying to find those things, she runs into much bigger problems later on (the more traditional sort of "conflict" and "quest").

It's just interesting that whatever the MC is "looking for" doesn't necessarily have to be material.

Sierra Godfrey said...

I like this a lot. Thanks! I love its simplicity.

coffeelvnmom said...

Good point, Lila. They just need motivation, something that's making them go from point A to point B, no?

coffeelvnmom said...

Oh, and Robyn, so true!