IT'S THE PLOT STUPID
April 30, 2019
IT'S THE PLOT STUPID
In recent weeks, one of the hot topics at Wokcano, my local watering hole, has been the dispute between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents. I felt good about my attempts at writing when I read a Los Angeles Times article by Mary McNamara (04.20.19) about the dispute. Yes, writers are essential!
Here is a quote from the article –
"I have been interviewing actors for more than 20 years, and whenever I ask what drew them to any given project, the answer is either 'the script' or 'the character.' Not the director or the cinematographer and certainly not the talent agency.
This is the baseline truth of Hollywood, the mantra the industry repeats to the world and itself. It all begins with the story. A series or film can, and often does, overcome a bad performance, lazy direction or bland cinematography, but it cannot overcome a bad script."
As a novelist, I don't have to worry about actors, directors, or the cinematographer, so the concept of the plot is a little different to me. I look at the plot as the foundation with which you start to build your novel. The bricks that raise the walls that go up from the foundation and make for an interesting novel are the addition of the characters, particularly their dialogue and actions. Readers seem to get more vested in the characters and action and will give somewhat of a pass on the plot. But even if you have interesting characters and lots of action, a poorly constructed plot, will send your manuscript to the burial plot.
I believe that for a novel to be successful it must combine a solid plot with good characters, and action. There is no such thing as a "plot-driven" novel.
As an aside, here is how a British writers workshop describes a plot – IT'S LIKE HAVING SEX – Foreplay, Action, Climax, and Wind Down. I love how the British express things.
Rupp's Notes Signup – If you like what you see above and want to receive my periodic notes, please go to my website – www.richardvrupp.com and click on the Newsletter Section to sign up.