Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fiction recipes

A few days ago I shared some quick thoughts about plotting on Twitter, in case anyone doing NaNoWriMo would find it helpful. I've been following some WriMo posts about plot, and that just happens to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the writing process to me.

So this is how I worked on the plot of some of my books:
My Imaginary Ex is patterned after a heist, using flashbacks as a device to keep the narrative moving along. Knowing it was a heist (and Zack is what they were trying to steal) made this one of the easiest stories to write -- finished it in a month, and everything fell into place when I was writing the outline.
Love Your Frenemies is a take on the "one last job" trope, which of course means that the main character is doomed to fail at something. It worked for the story, which takes place in a short period and also uses flashbacks to explain things.
Fairy Tale Fail is a more deliberate attempt at using the fairy tale template, in this case Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale. Each chapter actually corresponds to one step in that stereotypical hero's journey, and those were supposed to have been my chapter headings, but I removed them at the last minute. Using this template made it easier to finish the story, after two false starts.
Interim Goddess of Love was written with the episode structure of TV show The Good Wife as inspiration. That show does a good job of drawing you in with a standalone case, but keeps you with the serial stories that stretch out over several episodes. When I get stuck on a scene, I think of how it would appear on The Good Wife. Weird but it helps.

I guess this is more of a discussion on how the story is told, rather than what it is. The common thread of all of the stories I've written has so far been romance, but how the story is told can be slightly different, or can grab from other genres. Put it all together and hopefully everyone has fun with it.

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