Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Plotting a Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel

My take on SCBWI's Utah-Idaho Master Plot Workshop:

I've said previously that plot is not my strength. Yet.

Thanks to this Saturday class, I've spent quite a bit of time (22 pages to date) writing down the major plot elements of my book and what I need to change.

Cheryl Klein's workshop provided a huge amount of information, and there's no way I can, or should, duplicate it.

However, I'll mention a couple of major ideas spurring me on now:

Good characters take action, not just whine.  I realized I have two may scenes where bad things are happening to the character, and that's it. I have to insert some action on his part.

According to Ms. Klein, the newest question to ask in plotting is the Experiential Point. Always ask yourself: What do I want my reader to feel while reading my book. Just plain enjoyment (think DORK DIARIES) is fine.

However, she says she's drawn to books that help the reader experience deeper emotions. As the character goes through a series of events and relationship interactions that help her change, the reader should feel and grow and discover as well.

As I continue to work my way through my pages of notes and ideas (now 30+ since I started this post yesterday morning) I will post more of Ms. Klein's suggestions.


Alice said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's really helpful. I think plot is something a lot of us struggle with. Having the character take action and change and grow in the story are important things and problems I see in many stories I read.

Becca said...

Thanks, Alice. That is so true. And why is it so easy to see bad plotting and so hard to write good ones?