What are Your Favorite Plots?

I’m kicking off my monthly theme a day early. August will be all about plot as we continue with this year’s theme of “The Journey of a Book”. So what are your favorite plots? By that I mean, what kind of plots usually hook you so that you have to give a book or movie a try? If you love romance, maybe you enjoy the enemies-to-lovers trope. Or perhaps a Cinderella story appeals to you.

Of course, I love mysteries, but specifically, traditional mysteries, in which I can solve the mystery along with the main character. I’m also very susceptible to underdog stories. It doesn’t matter who the underdog is. If the odds are stacked against him or her, I automatically start rooting for the character. I also love caper stories, ones in which a band of bad guys, or sometimes good guys, form a team to pull of some kind of heist. If the team is made of bad guys, then during or after the heist usually Something Goes Horribly Wrong and the team scrambles to survive.

My kids and I have been enjoying the ’60’s spy show, Mission: Impossible which is often about the good guys pulling a caper on a despicable bad guy.

For more plotting prompts, click here.

Now I’d like to know what are your favorite plots?

Halfway Through The Journey of a Book!

As we head into the second half of the year, I decided to recap what we’ve covered so far since we’re halfway through “The Journey of a Book.” Below are the links for the monthly themes that all contribute to how a book moves from inspiration to publication.

January: Inspiration

February: Romance

March: YA fiction

April: Setting

May: Historical fiction

June: Characters

I hope you’ve found this journey helpful with your own writing adventures! Thursday I’ll kick off this month’s theme of Christian fiction.

Analyzing the Mood of a Setting

One thing I enjoy about visiting new places is analyzing the mood of a setting. Of course, the mood I bring to a location will affect how I perceive it, but I also try to examine the “vibe” a place gives off, independent of how I’m feeling at the time.

For example, I visited a library in a small city. Now I’m predisposed to love libraries because I’ve used them since I was a child and was a children’s librarian for ten years. But I wasn’t in the building long before I felt uncomfortable and even depressed. This wasn’t a friendly library. So I tried to figure out why I felt that way. Signs were posted warning patrons about rules. The library was extra quiet. Although the staff was polite, they weren’t friendly, as if they had other things to do than wait on patrons. I have the impression that removing books from the shelves would have been frowned upon.

Once I’ve dissected the mood of a place, I can file it away for possible use in a story.

Want to try out your analysis of setting? Check out these setting prompts.

Do you analyze the mood of a setting? How do you write about it?

What’s His Mirror Moment?

My last prompt for the month with my theme of tackling the middle of our stories. What’s his mirror moment? What has made him question who he is in the middle of the story? For more on the mirror moment, click here. Below is my inspiration.

This power was getting out of a hand.

I shoved my hand through my hair and clamped it on top of my head.

What was I supposed to do with this superpower? I couldn’t use it for my own entertainment any more, not with what I’d learned in the cafeteria. But if I acted on the information, someone might ask me how I knew. I’d never lied enough to be good at it. And I’d have to lie if I didn’t want to become the main specimen at a secret government research facility.

I fell back against the wall of the empty room.

Or I could just pretend I didn’t know what was about to come off Saturday night? Couldn’t I?

Click here to find more prompts for the mirror moment.

What’s the Mirror Moment?

Today’s prompt is to inspire a mirror moment in the middle of a story. What’s the mirror moment? According to James Scott Bell in his book Writing Your Novel from the Middle, it’s the moment in the middle of a story when the main character (MC) decides who he or she truly is. I’d also say it’s a moment when the MC decides on an irrevocable course of action.

So how could this photo provide a mirror moment? The woman looks deep in thought. Why is she thinking in the middle of a bridge with a guitar? Here’s my inspiration.

The wood of the old bridge felt warm on my bare legs in the afternoon sunlight. I sat and strummed. Music had always been my refuge and my joy. When had it gotten so complicated? I was a songwriter, not a singer. I didn’t care if people loved the singer of my songs more than the writer. That wasn’t why I wrote them.

But Jake said he believed in me.

I plucked some notes. Sitting on this old bridge had inspired some of my best songs. Maybe it could inspire me to make up my mind.

For more mirror moment prompts, click here.

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