Plot, plot, plot. Plodding plot, perky plot, plotting points, ppppfffft. So many ways to get the story in some kind of structure so the reader closes the book at the end with a satisfied sigh. Rather like pushing away from the table after an enjoyable, filling meal. Lori (www.loridevoti.com) walked us through several options, some short, some lengthy.

The shorty? A two sentence plot: Character ____________ wants ___________, because _________, but _________. So, s/he _____________. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The lengthy? A 12-step (no, don’t think AA) process or road map, based on Joseph Campbell’s famous work, The Hero’s Journey. The hero (or protagonist, if you prefer) starts in his/her ordinary world and receives a call to adventure. S/he may equivocate but eventually does accept the call, meets with conflict taking him/her to a point of no return. The hero endures clashes with the antagonist, culminating in a CRISIS (Lori’s caps, not mine). The protagonist weathers the CRISIS, is rewarded and recommits to completing the journey. This leads to the climax where the hero and antagonist have a final smack-down and the hero emerges victorious.

Are you satisfied with it? As an aging feminist, I was rather put off by all the Conan the Barbarian-ness of the hero’s journey. But I’m nothing if not game, so as Lori explicated the process, I compared it to the most recent book I’ve read, Elizabeth Berg’s The Art of Mending…AND IT WORKED (caps mine).  Cue the Twilight Zone music. Thrilling. Only a writer would find this interesting.

Tonight’s homework is to utilize what we learned today and apply it to what we’re writing. I can and I will.

Fun fact for the day: It is no longer correct to insert two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence and the start of a new sentence. One space is sufficient.

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