Create your plot with the use of a single word.

All plots are simple contradictions. Take a storyline, and twist it.

I’ve known a lot of writers who let plot stand in the way of writing their novels.

They anguish over the plot.

They work on it for days, then weeks.

It consumes them.

It shouldn’t.

I’m convinced that you can create a plot with a single thought and a single word.

What’s the word?

But.

All plots are simple contradictions. Take a storyline, and twist it.

Look at these examples.

Each deserves to form the backbone of a novel.

 

He was traveling to see his fiancée.

But his plane crashed.

 

It was her wedding day.

But the groom didn’t show up.

 

She and her husband were hiking the Grand Canyon.

But she awoke at their campsite, and he had vanished.

 

The Art Gallery is showing a new sculpture.

But when the director opens the crate, it is empty.

 

A woman hires a private investigator to prove her husband is cheating on her.

But the PI finds her husband dead.

 

A band of Navy Seals is on a mission to assassinate a world leader.

But there is a traitor among them.

 

A DEA agent has discovered a historical and religious relic that proves Christ returned to Mexico 1,500 years after his crucifixion.

But the agent has been murdered, and no one can find the relic.

That’s from my novel: Place of Skulls.

 

In World War II, America is building a top-secret Atom Bomb in the mountains of New Mexico.

But the secrets of the bomb are being smuggled to Russia and Germany.

That’s from my novel: Conspiracy of Lies.

 

A con man comes to a dying town and promises to find oil, but he falls in love with a beautiful widow who may have murdered her husband.

That’s from my novel: Back Side of a Blue Moon.

 

America does not want to go to war because industrialists are making too much money in Germany, but an American operative smuggles photographs out of Austria showing the Nazi atrocities during the Night of Broken Glass.

That’s from my novel: Secrets of the Dead.

 

A man and woman are trapped on a resort island, and he is fleeing the Third Reich. Their only hope is to obtain letters of transit.

But the man who has the only letters of transit available to them is the woman’s former lover who never forgave her for leaving him.

That’s from the classic movie: Casablanca

 

A small-town Southern country lawyer is the most highly respected man in town during the 1950s.

But he chooses to represent a black man in a court, a man accused of murder, even though he knows the whole own will turn against him.

That’s from the classic novel: To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

A sheriff has just married and is ready to settle own with his new wife.

But the men he sent to prison are out, and they are riding to town to kill him.

That’s from the unforgettable movie: High Noon.

 

The twist in each of the stories comes with a single word.

Use But to create your plot.

Then don’t worry about it, and start writing.

, , , , , , , , ,

  • Douglas Dorow

    I think you nailed it. I thought plotting was hard. But it isn’t.

    My latest WIP: All Special Agent Jack Miller wanted was a peaceful vacation at the lake with his family, BUT he gets pulled into battling a small town crime family.

Related Posts