Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Waiting for the Plot Fairy

You mean there isn't a plot fairy?

What if I leave candy? Would that help?

It turns out I have no problem coming up with great situations for stories, but that the actual plot of the story tends to be a little more elusive.

For example, the story I'm planning on working on next is historical fiction set at the time of the American Revolution. More specifically it's set in Boston during the time of the blockade of Boston and the Boston Siege. And here's the twist - the main character and her family are loyalists.

Neat set-up, right? But not a plot line in sight.

Because for there to be a plot something has to happen. My main character has to want something and there has to be something standing in her way and she should take action to overcome that obstacle.

And the plot fairy is not dropping those things into my lap.

As I was thinking about this, something occurred to me (unfortunately it wasn't a plot). My daughter complains that a lot of books she's read that are set in an earlier age tend to involve a girl who chafes against the restrictions put on her. For example, a girl who wants an advanced education, or to have an adventure, or to simply not have to sew all the time. And as I searched for the obstacle my heroine wants to overcome, I realized that provides a built in obstacle - the girl isn't happy with her situation and tries to change it. Instant plot.

But I think my character isn't going to mind sewing so very much, so I need to come up with something else.

Any time you're ready, Plot Fairy.


  1. She was at my house this week, but I'm ready to share her. Can you send me the character fairy when you get a chance?

  2. That's a great idea, Tricia. I'll send you the character fairy, you send me the plot fairy. Deal?

  3. I want her when you're done, Chris!