how to plot a novel how to write a novel Writing Tips

Are You Making These Mistakes?

strong novel plot

You set plenty of time and power into planning your story and creating a robust plot on your novel. Nevertheless, it might typically be a problem to know whether or not or not your plot is weak – particularly if in case you have already began writing.

For those who’ve ever requested the query: what makes for a great novel plot, hopefully this publish offers you some solutions. Right here I’ll share the 5 indicators of a weak plot in your novel with examples.

Hopefully it will aid you determine whether or not the plot of your novel has any weak factors.

The 5 Indicators of a Robust Novel Plot

novel plotting mistakes

When you understand what makes a great story and a robust plot in your novel, you’re higher ready to do the essential steps within the novel writing course of successfully.

Figuring out these 5 issues will prevent numerous problem earlier than you write out a bunch of scenes that may find yourself being reduce out through the revision course of!

These 5 indicators in fact aren’t a assure that you simply’ll write the world’s biggest story – however it could enable you to get heading in the right direction to ensure your plot is robust and can hold readers captivated and concerned with what’s going on all through your complete ebook.

Robust Plot Signal #1: The Stakes Are Excessive

We already know a great story wants battle. With out battle, there’s not a lot to inform aside from a boring story of perfection. Nevertheless, simply having a battle isn’t sometimes sufficient to go away your readers on the sting of their seats questioning what may occur subsequent.

Excessive stakes is an expression meaning an exercise which is high-risk and harmful. It’s a playing time period – and your novel ought to be capable of convey that your characters are risking lots so as to resolve the novel’s major battle level.

Instance of a Excessive Stake State of affairs

Let’s think about for a second that we’ve got a e-book a few teenage boy in highschool with an enormous math check arising in every week.

high stakes test in novel writing

Passing a math check in all probability doesn’t appear to be an enormous deal – till you increase the stakes. What does the character should lose if he doesn’t succeed?

  • What if failing the maths check means dropping his school soccer scholarship and perpetually ruining his probabilities of enjoying professionally?
  • What if he fails the maths check and he will get grounded for every week?
  • What if there’s a serial killer on the unfastened and all the homicide victims up to now have been highschool college students with poor math grades?

See how these totally different situations can alter the stakes?

With these examples you’ll be able to see if the boy will get grounded for every week that’s not likely rather a lot to lose. Nevertheless, if he finally ends up being chased by a math-obsessed serial killer or loses his school scholarship – now that may be a lot to lose and danger.

Finally, it is going to be as much as you as the author to find out what the stakes must be in your characters.

Right here’s What You Have to Ask Your self Whereas Writing:

  • What’s the motivation for the character’s objectives?
  • What are they risking to realize the aim?
  • What is going to occur in the event that they fail?

Asking these questions may also help you increase the stakes and ensure it actually issues whether or not or not the battle is resolved. Having excessive stakes builds rigidity in your novel, and retains the story line shifting. The upper the stakes, the extra weak and relatable your primary character can be.

The extra vital the results of specific actions of your characters, the extra doubtless your readers can be intrigued to maintain studying. Your readers ought to all the time be questioning: “What occurs subsequent?”

Robust Plot Signal #2: The Occasions Are as Sensible as Attainable

Is your novel plot realistic? 5 Ways to Know You Have a Strong Plot in Your Novel

One of many largest errors many writers make is that they conveniently repair the issues and make issues occur too simply for the characters.

When one thing is troublesome, you gained’t meet a thriller stranger who swoops in and saves the day by simply randomly flying overhead in a helicopter to rescue your hero from the aspect of a cliff.

This simply doesn’t occur, and your readers aren’t going to purchase it both, even when they’re properly conscious it’s a fiction novel.

As an alternative, take into consideration what’s extra realistically potential. Let your hero fall, get harm, and attempt to survive within the wilderness for 2 weeks till lastly discovering a mud street that results in a small city the place there are different individuals who may be capable of assist them.

Utilizing situations which usually tend to be real looking makes your characters stronger and simpler on your readers to hook up with your story.

If it’s not believable, it’s time to rethink what can be the more than likely consequence for a selected occasion.


Robust Plot Signal #three: Every part is Constant

One of many largest errors you may discover in a e-book is that there are inconsistencies all through a novel.

Typically these inconsistencies are minor particulars, akin to a personality’s bodily traits or an outline of a location.

Typically these inconsistencies are big gaping flaws in character improvement. For instance, in a single scene your character is loving and candy and type. Within the subsequent scene they’ve developed a egocentric, indignant and boastful angle.

Until your essential character is Dr. Henry Jekyll, this isn’t good!

This stuff don’t add up for readers, they usually can weaken your plot.

If you end up going by way of revision strategy of your novel, it is extremely necessary to search for these little inconsistencies that may trigger confusion in your readers.

Begin by interviewing your characters with character improvement questions. Make a novel define. Search for the holes.

Robust Plot Signal #four: Each Scene Contributes to a Widespread Aim

plotting a strong novel

I do know as a author it’s straightforward to get distracted typically out of your unique plot and the objective of your characters.

Nevertheless, when you’ve got scenes in your novel’s plot that don’t contribute to the general theme or aim of the first climax level, you’re solely weakening your plot.

When you may assume including a couple of “aspect scenes” right here and there add curiosity, they really may cause the reader to lose focus and develop into distracted from the primary plot line. Belief me once I say a distracted reader is NOT an excellent factor!

As an alternative of a robust plot, you get a weak and watered down story.

If you end up revising your work, it’s essential that you simply be sure to don’t lose sight of what truly contributes to the story. Something that may be a distraction or isn’t critically necessary to the primary plot must be reduce.

Unhappy as it might be to chop these scenes, your writing can be stronger due to it.

Which leads me to the subsequent level for what makes a robust novel plot.


Robust Plot Signal #5: Your Readers Don’t Should Work to Perceive the Story

reading should be relaxing

Most individuals learn for leisure and enjoyable. Studying is a option to shut our brains off from the standard every day grind. Some would even recommend studying might be thought-about a type of mindfulness and meditation.

Studying a ebook means I don’t have to consider what I’ll prepare dinner for dinner, what time that appointment is subsequent week, the 9 bazillion issues on the to-do listing or speculate on tips on how to remedy the universe.

It provides my mind a really a lot wanted break to show off the world.

Sadly, one thing that occurs regularly is that I decide up a ebook, and earlier than the top of the second chapter it begins feeling like work. I’ve to re-read a number of elements of the e-book. I’m not “getting it” on the primary attempt. There’s a actual quantity of psychological labor required.

This occurred simply final week once I determined to speed-read a young-adult fiction ebook my daughter picked up on the library and left on the kitchen desk.

Books I Couldn’t End Studying: The Entire Factor Collectively

The ebook begging to be learn on my kitchen desk was The Entire Factor Collectively by Ann Brashares. I didn’t actually have any expectations for the ebook and even know what it was about. Principally I used to be simply curious to see what my child was studying.

Apparently, I made a really huge mistake: I didn’t learn the guide teaser on the within cowl first. I all too innocently simply opened up the duvet and began studying.

This was undoubtedly an enormous mistake. As a result of earlier than even the top of chapter 1, I used to be desperately making an attempt to know this entire character listing and work out the place the story happened:

  • Lila – Not constructive, however I feel that is the mom
  • Ray – The primary character, I feel – a minimum of the start is from his viewpoint
  • Quinn – sister?
  • Mattie – sister?
  • Sasha – a half sister? step sister? third sister as soon as eliminated? Not likely positive
  • Grandpa Harrison, deceased
  • Uncle Malcolm in Mexico
  • A organic grandmother who was adopted
  • Robert? Is that this the daddy or a brother?
  • Charlotte

In fact, I don’t know if any of the small print above are literally correct, as a result of the best way it was all pieced collectively was so complicated. Sadly, there are in all probability characters lacking from my hashed collectively record above.

I discovered solely after re-reading the chapter there truly was not a personality named Charlotte, however my mind by some means picked it up as being an individual as a result of the guide makes a reference to E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Net. And Uncle Malcolm lived in New Mexico, not Mexico.

At that time, I made a decision to learn the duvet description for some type of clue on what the story was about. Apparently, we now have two households who share a standard home, however they don’t seem to be associated in any genetic approach.

Unhappy to say, however I deserted ship. I’d wish to say I completed the e-book, however I didn’t.

I ended after the mentioning of grandmother’s adoption papers, as a result of I used to be already approach too confused to need to need to do the work of making an attempt to piece collectively a complicated adoption for lifeless grandparents.

If I’ve to re-read a chapter to know one thing, that’s pointless work and a waste of my time because the reader. I’m positive this novel probably wouldn’t cross the #four check on this record both, however I by no means even acquired to that time to get previous the primary scene.

This e-book is the right instance of the kind of e-book that’s TOO MUCH WORK to learn.

Apparently we additionally missed that memo on fundamental vs. supporting characters.

I do nevertheless give my daughter a variety of credit score for with the ability to end the ebook. I appreciated much more that she took the time to elucidate this loopy mess of characters and other people and even drew me a diagram to elucidate all of it.

Right here’s a Useful Rule to Comply with: In case your readers at any level have to re-read a chapter to seek out readability or depend on a move chart, map, chart, household historical past tree or different sort of diagram to know your guide, your guide is method too difficult.

Your novel is just as robust as your reader’s psychological power ranges.

Most readers have lives outdoors of the world of books. They go to work, they’ve households of their very own, they’ve obligations and stress of their private lives like each different human being. There are already so many different issues demanding power – your e-book shouldn’t be imagined to be one among them.

Maintain it easy. Your ebook ought to have perhaps 5 characters that we all know by identify. The remaining are identical to ants on a sidewalk. We will make notice of the ants in our story, however we undoubtedly. don’t want to provide every ant on the sidewalk a reputation and a backstory.


Writing a novel doesn’t should be exhausting. And also you don’t need to even get a robust novel plot good on the primary attempt. Actually, it’s very practical to know you will make these errors as a author. I look again at a few of my early novels I wrote in my teenagers and cringe as a result of all of those errors are current in most of them.

The excellent news is, with expertise, you’ll get a LOT higher at avoiding these widespread errors. Your novels will begin to cross the “is that this a robust novel plot check” – after which, upon getting a number of good novels within the hopper, you’re prepared to start out significantly think about publishing and advertising your self as an writer.

What Are Your Ideas?

Do you might have any ideas on what may make for a robust novel plot? Share your concepts and experiences within the feedback part under!

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