” Fiction, though is different. If painting lakes, stories are rivers-they are going somewhere. They pull the reader along, and take us on a journey. Stories must move us forward.”
– Carole Bugge
I myself run into this plot problem. While reading some of my favorite novels, I learned that the trick is having whatever you don’t want to happen to you, happen to your characters. Having a horrible accident and being disabled, losing a loved one, getting divorced. Readers want something interesting. Our job it to keep them turning the page. You may feel that your ideas of storytelling are overused and common, but what I found out is that it’s more about the plot than the central idea. Don’t get me wrong, the idea is very important. But having well thought out characters are key.
The more obstacles you put between the protagonist and their ultimate goal, the better. What’s pushing that character forward? What is their ultimate goal?These questions are on the right track. Like in the story The cask of Amontillado (Edgar Allan Poe.) He so wanted revenge on Fortunato that he used his weakness, wine. Or in The Lord Of the Flies (William Golding) the goal was to survive, but the underline goal was to place a chief on that island.
External and Internal
External and Internal conflicts are easier than one might think. Since we all have external and internal conflicts we have an idea of how to form them when making a plot. Antagonist are usually the hero and the main character in the plot. The antagonist are trying to accomplish something, either pushed by fear, love, hate, or jealousy. The protagonist will do anything in its power to stop it.
The protagonist doesn’t really have to be a person it can be society, an obsession, or mother nature. Whatever it is, it doesn’t want your antagonist to achieve anything.However, the antagonist has to be pushed by something. Internally, what are they suffering from? Keeping obstacles in the characters way is good way to keep the plot moving. Everytime we think it’s going to be okay, Bam! something else happens. Secrets are like candy for a reader. They can belong to the antagonist or the protagonist. One way to keep them hooked is by slowly revealing secrets. That gives more insight about who the character really is. Take a look at Jane Burroway’s formula
Impact character is someone who has a totally different way of handling conflicts and other situations. The impact character is very important because it makes the main character face it’s problems. The impact character should be the one to draw the main character out of their cocoon, so to speak.
By the end of a book, when the main character has finally reached that goal, it feels so good for the reader. Yes! Or, if the end up seeing life in a new and learning an importnat lesson, it feels just the same.