Plotting a novel? Consider this tip if you’re plotting a mystery:
“What Agatha Christie did was to fashion her scenes so that the clue was present but so was the red herring. And the scene pivoted around the red herring, not around the clue. Brilliant.”
From novelist ELIZABETH GEORGE
Plotting’s easier, when you consider the two story lines which make up your plot
In fiction, you have (at least) two major story lines: external, and internal
Consider these two plots-in-one; your novel or short story/ novella needs both:
- The external plot is what happens.
- The internal plot is what your main character, or characters, think(s) about what happens.
In some genres, the external plot is primary — thrillers, for example. However, in other genres, the internal plot is primary — women’s fiction and any form of romance, for example.
That said, ALL genres, without exception need both. It’s common for beginning writers to “plot”, focusing on the external story line. That’s fine, in a first draft. However, as soon as possible, you need to pay attention to the internal plot/ story line too.
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