The Plot

As I have been working on becoming a better writer, I’ve been looking at the basics of plots.

A good story has to have a good plot, so what is a good plot?

A few minutes on the Internet gave me the basics

It starts with leaving. You have to leave the normal world and go on a journey.

A Quest.

Or a flight. If we are fleeing, we are not really questing.

But a journey.

And, at the most basic level in the plot, that journey will lead the hero to a place of transformation.

Which means there is a new normal world.

As you see, I find it very easy to imagine reasons and details about leaving the normal and going on a journey.

But the transformation is hard.

And really, that sounds like a personal problem.

But it’s not just me! Transformation is hard, or it wouldn’t be the big payoff in the plot.

I suppose I’m not the only one trying to find an upgrade on normal.

In these stories, normal has to kick you out to get the upgrade. Maybe that’s the way transformation happens.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the transformation happened as easily as changing your bath towel? It would be nice if life’s upgrades happened that way.

But it wouldn’t make a very good story.

Here, Cinderella. You’ve always had a closet full of shoes. Pick any of them to go to the ball and don’t worry about staying up late.

No story here.

It’s human nature to want the transformation. Pretty much all the stories have it.

And it’s human nature to curse the stone–the boulder in our path and the pebble in our shoe.

But that’s the trade-off. No trouble, no transformation. We’re not meant to sit around being normal. Normal is always changing.

That’s what our stories warn us about.