Monday, February 18, 2008

Simply Write

The story begins with the heroine who after being ditched at the altar goes to the mountains to stay with a friend of her mothers. The heroine, needing peace, quiet and solitude (in other words too many days of feeling sorry for herself) is more than a little miffed when the mother's friend's son shows up as a surprise. Even more of a surprise is the fact that he's rich, single and terribly good-looking. Well, it gets even better. He decides to move to the little mountain town to take over his father's law practice, something his mother had been after him to do ever since the father died over a year ago.
The heroine, being an interior decorator and all, helps him redo the out of date office. (It's all so very convenient, isn't it?)
Then, well, there's another girl who comes to apply for the job of answering the phones for the now-back-in-business- law office and she looks EXACTLY like the hero's fiance who was killed as she walked down the street fifteen years ago. Can you believe it?
Well, turns out, the dead fiance had a twin even she didn't know about. The twin that is still alive found out about her sisters murder (Yes, she was murdered---that car didn't just strike her down dead by accident) and comes to town determined to do in the hero--because of course it was all his fault that her sister died.

What story is this you ask? It's my very first novel. Can you say over-plotted, complicated and downright confusing.

I think sometimes we try to be so different that we confuse even ourselves. Simple is better. Remember when plotting, that the story is important, but so is learning about the characters. About what makes them tick. About why they do what they do. They drive your story. The plot doesn't need to have eighteen twists and turns to be interesting. If your characters are interesting you have a great start, your plot, no matter how simple, will work itself out.

Do you remember the first novel you plotted? Simple or complicated? Convient? Gorgeous people? Tell all!!


  1. I still have hope for my first novel. Now that I've actually learned something, lol! But who knows when I'll get back to it. It's done. The second is started and seems better. However, I have a couple non-fiction ideas that are more likely to sell right now because they are really a part of the ministry I feel called to live today. Those novels are still very much apart of my plans, just not this moment as I strive to reach out.

  2. Ang, I know you are on the right track. Don't give up on those ficiton stories, though. You have a story and a ministry in both fields. An awesome one.

  3. Oh you have got to be kidding. I'm still working (reworking) my first novel. And this revision has included some plotting changes, but like you said, making them simpler. Exploring the characters more deeply.
    Plotting seems to be where I need the most help. I was just thinking about that this weekend. While I have a grip on this story, I have a couple of others that I have no idea how they're going to get from point A to point B.

  4. mindy,

    Keep plugging away. It's how all stories get written. I think when I wrote that first book i didn't even know what characterization meant. I just wanted DRAMA!!

  5. Lindi,

    I don't think you should abandon the plot--and it depends on what kind of a book you're writing. If you are writing category romance you will need a more simple plot, but if you are writing a longer single title or mainstream fiction, something with more plot twists will be necessary. The premise of your story is interesting--I happen to like single title dramas. Sounds like it would be a good mainstream romantic suspense/mystery.

    I started writing my first book at the age of twelve and I finished it in my twenties. I've replotted it several times. I just changed the title, revised the first chapter and sent it into the Genesis. I'm curious to see how it will do. It's never been in a contest.

  6. You could replot it. All kinds of ideas are coming to mind about the direction this story could actually take.

  7. Jenn,

    You are right. We can't abandon plot. What I was trying to get across is when the plot seems to overshadow the characters because of lack of characterization. I love books with plot twists--but actually what sparked this post is I'm judging a contest-and the plots are soooo confusing...the characters seem lost amidst a sea of twists and turns that aren't happening for any reason except to fill space---they don't seem to relate to the characters. Anyway, I remembered that first book I wrote and how I thought the story was what it was all about---
    And I have thought about replotting this book---may we can brainstorm sometime.....
    Thanks for the post.

  8. I'd love to brainstorm! I also understand what you mean by characters and plots not making sense or connecting to means, but just to fill space.

  9. Lindi, I don't even recognize this story, so this must have been before I joined the critique group. :)

    My very first story was about a widow with children who meets a famous author at a book signing. (Like that's going to happen! LOL!) That's all I remember about it. That and the fact that I wrote it in 4 months. :)

  10. Lindi,
    Your first book sounds interesting. I smiled at everyone's responses.

    My first book was about a young woman who'd taken over her father's company after an explosion in the company's warehouse took his life. Then, the board fires the heroine, and her life is suddenly in danger. Then, she thinks she sees her father on television walking amid the crowds as she's watching a newsstation that's in Brazil. Believing he's alive, my heroine takes off on a world wide journey to find him. And of course, the heroine's mother employs the good looking widower/detective to stay on the heroine's path and bring her back home - because everyone at home believes she's crazy.

    It's tucked away in a drawer some where.I've pulled it out to read it and the POV is all over the place, the scenes are choppy and it's so high in DRAMA I had to put it down. LOL!