The Plot Thickens
I’m making progress … I have a title for my next novel – Safari Supper – and I’ve written my ‘single sentence’:
Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.
So that’s my theme decided … REVENGE.
And I’ve found the perfect image: a dessert nestling on crossed spoons.
Perhaps I should warn readers right now that the path ahead will not only cover the basics of novel writing, using Scrivener, but there will also be a lot of food. I’ll be totally in charge of menu planning for each hostess, and I expect the village hall to be full of delicious desserts, and cakes, as calorie-filled as this one.
Health warning over, let’s move on …
I’ve written the beginnings of my ‘elevator pitch’. At the moment, it’s only 53 words long. I’ll expand on it (aiming for 300 words) as time passes and my novel develops.
Safari Supper is a tale of intrigue over a three-course meal located at various houses in a seaside town. One house for a starter, another for main, village hall for pud. For each course, a different combination of diners around the table. Lots of laughter but also some poisonous conversations – and yes, someone dies …
Why? Why does someone have to die?
#1: I like writing novels with mystery and intrigue – and humour – and without a murder, there would be no mystery?
#2: Michael Cunningham, in his novel The Hours, has Virginia Woolf, in writing her Mrs. Dalloway novel, say ‘Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more. It’s contrast.’ That’s a good enough reason for me.
As to who will be dying, or who will be doing the murdering, I’ve no idea! It looks like it’ll be a revenge killing – and death by poisoning.
I’ve no direct experience of murder by poisoning (honest!) but, to my credit, I’ve lived in a seaside town for the past decade. Taken part in two safari supper events – and hosted the first course, second time around. So I have some prior experience as to how they work – as a diner and as a host. I was party to interesting conversations across the dinner table. Ate a lot of food! I know the drill. Now, all I need is a plot …
However, without knowing my characters and what drives them, I’m reluctant to decide what route my story will take. So, although I accept it would be a good idea to write a plot. First I need some characters, their starting points, their goals, their hangups. Only then can I decide where they might be at the end of my novel.
Also, I’m reliably informed, books are either character driven or plot driven. Ne’er the twain?
- Lewis McGregor of Indie Tips offers an explanation of the difference between these two methodologies. Deanna Lynn Sletten of Write Moms also offers interesting insights into these different end products.
- Martha Alderson aka The Plot Whisperer offers an analysis of the characteristics of the authors who tend to favour plot-driven stories versus those who favour character-driven stories.
I seem to be somewhere in the middle! Where are you?
HOMEWORK: When you get a minute (!) complete the MY STORY section of your Scrivener project file as best you can. Single sentence / elevator pitch / story arc / synopsis / beats …
Wednesday, it will be time to start thinking about casting …
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firstname.lastname@example.org September 2015 at 07:21
I knew I could rely on you Patsy!
Joking aside, I will have to ‘invent’ at least three starters, three main courses (more on the difficulties of that in a later post) and half a dozen puds.
They might as well be everyone’s favourites. Then my novel will have a mouth-watering aspect … and pull in the reader’s taste buds.
Any suggestions gratefully received (including recipes if pos).
Patsy14 September 2015 at 14:25
If you need any help eating, um, I mean researching the puds, just let me know!