Writing Tips: Plot, How to plot a novel
Our Quick Guide on writing plots that grip the reader In these days of the 3-for-2 tables and Tesco Book Clubs, fiction has taken a step forwards into the past. These days, plot matters. No fiction will be taken on by agents - no matter how brilliantly written, how edgily contemporary, how weighty in subject matter - unless it has a strong story line. We've seen stunning work rejected for this reason. This is scary for authors. See also our More About Plotting guide ... and do watch out for the video below. The oldies are still the goodies Plotting hasn’t changed since Aristotle. 1) The protagonist must have a clear central motivation. 2) The protagonist’s goal (which derives from that motivation) has to be determined as early as possible into the novel. 3) The jeopardy must increase. 4) Every scene and every chapter must keep the protagonist off-balance - things may get better for him/her, o r worse, but they need to be constantly changing. 5) Don’t spend time away from the story.