In my earlier post I mentioned Natalie Whipple’s three stages of revision:
So let’s talk about plot…
According to Merriam-Webster plot has been defined as: the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work). Or in other words, what happens in the story.
I have been fortunate to be a part of a group that meets once a month to discuss picture books. Our gracious hostess Andrea Zimmerman, who writes with her husband David Clemensha, has authored nine picture books and hosts her own blog Picturebookparty.com.
During one of our recent meetings Andrea discussed the four basic plot types, they are as follows:
- Series of Incidents–The main character goes through a series of events–this happens, then this happens, then this happens. The action moves along in sequence towards a logical ending which often puts the character back, in some way, to where she was at the beginning. Think “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.
- Purposed Achieved–In this type of story, the main character wants to achieve some goal, she works towards that goal, and she eventually succeeds in achieving that goal (or something equally appropriate.) Think “Knuffle Bunny”.
- Misunderstanding, Discovery, and Reversal–The main character has a misunderstanding about himself, or someone else, or something in the world. Through the course of the story, he makes a discovery, or realization. Then, towards the end, he has a reversal in which he changes his thinking and/or behavior. Think “Where the Wild Things Are”.
- Wish Fulfillment–The main character has something she wants but cannot achieve. Events occur, but the character isn’t working directly towards this goal. She doesn’t succeed through her own efforts (like in Purpose Achieved) but rather she gets her wish (or something equally good) because of who she is. Think “Cinderella”.
Andrea goes into more detail on her blog and has more examples of each type of plot. I would suggest you check it out if you are interested in learning more about plot or if you are just interested in a party.
Writing on the Sidewalk