19 January 2012

Is Plot Destroying the World?

Benjamen Walker interviewed me today about plot for his radio show. (I'll share the interview link when I receive it from Benjamen.)

On his playlist and archives list for his show's Too Much Information page on the internet, he states that "in a world where everyone shares the truth 140 characters at a time, telling tales might be the most honest thing to do."

I love that.

During the interview, he goes on to say that he believes plot is destroying the world. Those may not have been his exact words. Next time I'm interviewed (and I hope I am interviewed again and often. I love radio interviews. Truth is, I loved Benjamen's passion and enthusiasm), I'll take notes to share here with you.

I think his dire belief in the evils of plot centers around those dramatic-action driven movies and books that are devoid of character emotional development and meaning are destroying the world. I agree with him.

Stories have the potential to change the reader. That potential is lost when the emotional truth that comes only through the character is left out. It's like showing violence without showing the effects of violence on the true human experience.

Yes, straight dramatic action stories sell well (I address this in the first comment during the day I spent on Red Jungle Writers blog -- shared by 8 smart and sassy crime writers -- hosted by Hallie Ephron who very generously interviewed me about my new book and shared her readers with me.

During my interview with Benjamen, I shared with him my fervent belief that plot is much more than dramatic action alone and that anyone who abuses plot misses a valuable opportunity to reach readers through feeling characters shown in a meaningful way.

I'm eager and curious to listen to his show and learn what he did with all the words we generated during our time together....

To familiarize yourself with the Universal Story and the basic plot terms in the above blog post:
1) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Now also as a Kindle edition)

2) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

3 Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. A directory the book examples and plot elements discussed is to the left of this post.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter