Hi, I'm Ray Evans. I'm a certified copyeditor and proofreader.
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Alright, folks, buckle up. We're about to take a wild ride down the curvy, often treacherous, road of
crafting a compelling plot. But don't worry, I promise it's going to be as fun as a roller coaster ride, but
with fewer whiplash claims.
Plot Structures: The Building Blocks of Your Fictional Empire
First off, let's talk plot structures. They're the backbones of our stories, the foundation that keeps
everything upright, sort of like the starch in a stand-up guy's collar. Now, you could go with the classic
three-act structure: Setup, Confrontation, Resolution. It's a reliable old workhorse, like an '86 Buick
LeSabre. It's not flashy, but it'll get you from point A to point B.
But hey, maybe you're more adventurous, right? Maybe you want your plot to have as many twists and
turns as Lombard Street in San Francisco. In that case, you might consider something like the Hero's
Journey or the Seven-Point Story Structure. These are more intricate, sure, but they also come with
GPS navigation and a rear-view camera. In other words, they provide a clear roadmap for your story
and make it less likely that you'll accidentally back over your own plotline.
Building Tension: The Fictional Blood Pressure Cuff
Okay, you've got your structure nailed down. Now, how do you keep your readers on the edge of their
seats, biting their nails, and doing all the other clichéd things we say when we mean "engaged"? One
word, folks: tension. Tension in a story is like the rubber band around a wad of bills – it keeps
everything together and gives you a satisfying 'snap' when you finally let it go.
Creating tension is like cooking a gourmet meal, you've got to season it just right. Add too little, and
your story is as bland as a tofu turkey on Thanksgiving. Add too much, and it's as overwhelming as
Aunt Mildred's perfume at a family reunion.
Remember, your readers are not just passive observers. They're more like detectives, piecing together
clues, making predictions. So give them a breadcrumb trail to follow, but don't make it too easy. Like a
good magician, you should always keep them guessing. Just when they think they've figured it out,
pull another rabbit out of your hat. Or a pigeon. Or a small, yappy dog. Whatever keeps them on their
Twisting the Plot: The Storyteller's Chiropractic Adjustment
Finally, let's talk plot twists. The sudden left turns that make your readers' heads spin like they're on
the Teacups ride at Disneyland. But be careful. A good plot twist should be like a surprise party –
unexpected, but in hindsight, all the signs were there. If it comes out of nowhere, it's less of a plot
twist and more of a plot assault.
Plot twists should be like Dennis Rodman in a wedding dress – shocking, but somehow fitting. They
should be rooted in the characters' actions and decisions, not dropped in from the sky like an anvil in
a Looney Tunes cartoon. They should feel inevitable and surprising at the same time, like finding out
your high school math teacher is also a semi-pro Elvis impersonator.
In conclusion, crafting a compelling plot is a bit like juggling flaming chainsaws. It's tricky,
dangerous, and not for the faint of heart. But if you can pull it off, the results are spectacular. So go
ahead. Pick up those chainsaws. Just, you know, maybe wear a helmet or at least some sensible
footwear. And remember, no matter how daunting it may seem, every great story started with
someone daring to juggle their own set of chainsaws. Now, it's your turn to dazzle the audience. Go
forth and write with the audacity of Evel Knievel jumping the Grand Canyon. Just remember to stick