Plot is my weakness

by Dorathy Chambers (D.C.)

Question: Hello. Now that I'm seriously writing more and working on my novel, I'm find out that I'm really good at the creative writing part. But the plot and dialog are just not flowing. How do you get it to run smoothly? And the signposts are helpful, but it doesn't seem like they will make my novel rich enough.

Answer: Have you developed all four throughlines? And have you considered breaking the signposts into sequences, each with its own beginning event, complication, crisis, and resolution? That would give you up to 64 events in which to tell your story.

Remember that each action leads to a decision, which leads to a new action, etc. so that all the events are linked in a cause and effect chain. That should help the flow.

To add richness, you can also...

* use subplots to bring out other aspects of the characters, essentially by giving minor characters their own (albeit less developed) stories.

* develop the backstory to flesh out your story world.

* give each of the throughlines it's own thematic conflict, and illustrate these themes throughout the story.

Beyond that, there are deeper aspects to Dramatica which I have (for the sake of simplicity) avoided going into on this site, for fear of overloading readers with too much theory. You may find it helpful to consult either the Dramatica theory book or software program. These are available on the bookstore tab (click on "Dramatica books and software").

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero