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").

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