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Sunday, December 23, 2012

More On Plotting

A few days ago, I posted about the "recipe" for plotting I usually follow. Since then, I've been thinking about the plot of "Seer Tyro Fiend," and I realized that the same steps for the main POV character development and basic story line also apply to the secondary characters who are the antagonists. For each of my "suspects," i.e., the instigator(s) of the trouble, I have to figure out who they are, what goal they were trying to further with their actions, and why it's important to them. So each antagonist develops something of a subplot of his/her own.

So as it now stands, I have a victim (of sorts), and four possible antagonists. These will all get chained together. I have made the first link in the chain between a victim and one of the "baddies" and have an idea of who the next link in the chain is. Now I have to figure out that character's motives for getting involved, what he/she seeks from that involvement.

Also on the agenda is some aspect of the paranormal angle of the story, and as mentioned in an earlier post, I need to find roles for the other characters on the "good guys" side. The character of Adam, Amy's husband, only came on the scene at the end of "Dabblers," but I want to give him something to do. I've been toying with the idea of making him suspect of something, but I don't know that I can justify the other characters seeing him that way. That area of conflict might be too tangential to the main story line anyway. I've read novels with little side plots like this in the past, and I was always disappointed when it turned out they did not really tie into the main source of conflict. I don't like loose ends. I suspect readers would accuse me of throwing out red herrings if I did this, and while a mystery can incorporate such foolers, I don't like using them. It makes for loose ends and a sloppy effect. Okay, so real life isn't neat and has side stories and all the loose ends don't always tie together. But this is fiction, and expectations for fiction are usually that it does not mirror real life. The satisfaction from a good story is that it does provide neatness and explanations and resolution.

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