Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Good Plots Make for Good Books

by Jeffrey S Savage

Sorry for posting late, but once again I am on the road and my internet access has been terrible. For the next six weeks I am teaching a creative writing class for the city of Spanish Fork. So I thought I would share some of the things I am covering in my class.

This week we talked about creating a solid plot line. One of the biggest reasons new writers have for not completing their novels is that they begin without a strong plot. Here are the points I asked my class to consider before starting page one. I’d love feedback from you on how these points these points affect what you read and write. Share your thoughts and I’ll take them back to the class.


Does your main character have a noble quest?

Will the reader empathize with that quest?

What are the obstacles to the quest?

Do you have more than one story line to carry the plot?

Are the smaller climaxes leading up to the final climax?

Did I start the story at the right point?

Is your storyline broad enough? Is it too broad, so it loses focus?


Do you have a clear main character?

Do you like that character?

Do they have flaws?

What are they going to learn during the course of the story?

Who are the subordinate characters?

Is the main character in jeopardy? Of what?

What are the consequences of failure? Of success?

Are the obstacles to success difficult enough?

Is the character acting or reacting. Readers want a hero/heroine that is actively trying to fix things.


Why did you choose the setting you have?

Does it add to the story?


Time Period

Why did you choose the time period?

What would happen if you changed it?

Are there any key events that could be tied in?


At 1/31/2007 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jeff, these questions are exactly what I need to help my story along.

Melanie Goldmund

At 1/31/2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

What night is your class? Spanish Fork is only about 9 1/2 hours from here, so that would be a round trip of 19 hours six times. That's . . . I don't know how many hours but well worth every minute it!

(Just in case I don't make it, please keep posting mini-classes on your blog!
I LOVE it!)

At 1/31/2007 5:08 PM, Blogger FHL said...

Hey, you were going to let me know about this class! Dagnabit!

Well, since I'm going to be writing soon, I'll try to keep your questions in mind.



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