Jerry-Myers_12_26I was thinking about how to illustrate plotlines, and this is what I came up with.

Crafting a beginning to your story is only the first. Writing the body, or bulk of the story the story should be set in your head.  The characters and how they will interact with each other should be settled in your mind as well, so the interplay between them is believable to the reader.

Setting your characters up into at least two camps, protagonist and antagonist are to set up presupposed guidelines as to the motivation and intentions of your characters, the good guys and the bad guys in simplistic terms.  I have discussed before there is a third type of character, the anti-hero.  The anti-hero is the wildcard character in the story.  The idea is to keep the reader guessing about this anti-hero; just what is anti-hero up to and whose side is this anti-hero on.

To illustrate the plot and plot-lines, and sub-plots; imagine two bushes spring up from the same root bundle.  Seeming to have two distinct beginnings, they grow and the resulting branches become intertwined, tangled and fighting for their place in the sun.  In essence the same battle is going on underground within the root bundle, for water and food.  These are Plots, motivations, and sub-plots, and hidden motivations in writer’s frame of mind.

As in nature you cannot have a fully dimensional story, as you cannot have a bush or plant without roots.  Exploring the root cause of tensions, or attractions between character leave you reader hanging.  Your readers are like most people, they want to know everything.

It is the writer’s responsibility to present the fictional facts, however not get the reader bogged down in tiny details.  Suggestion as to what is happening is actually a lot stronger than exhaustive details.  Leaving filling in the tiny details to the reader’s imagination makes the work more entertaining for the reader.

For example: when I was home from school during the summer, I would occasionally sit in on a meeting of my mother’s book club.  I noticed that most of the discussion was about this character and that character and what they were up to in the book being discussed.  I read the books being discussed and discovered that the actions and motivations of the character being discussed had not actually been written in the book, only suggested, an example of the power of suggestion.

The actions of a particular character in a story need not be graphically described to be effective.  In fact a tactic that I have come in contact with is to set up a situation, and before anything really has been described  the writer moves on to another sequence of the story.  We can find this type of suggestive writing in crime novels, and steamy romance stories.  Let the reader’s imagination fill in the graphic details.