The Importance of Plot
I'm back! It's been quite a while since my last blog post- I've been awfully busy promoting Stone Ridge, writing my next novel, and most importantly, teaching. Sorry for the delay.
So, I just finished a YA book called The Opposite of Music, by Janet Ruth Young. It tells the story of Billy, a teenager in Boston, whose father has been diagnosed with depression. It's a profound and important premise and it sheds light on a serious, but often overlooked disease. The book is eloquently written, with a strong first person narrative voice, but there's one minor issue I couldn't get past- plot.
Now, I am not someone who has to read a "shoot 'em up", "vampirey", mythological thriller to be entertained. On the contrary, I teach my English and creative writing students to value the development of character first and foremost. After all, we are all humans and literature's primary function, in my opinion, is to shed light on the human condition. With that being said, stories are also a pivotal aspect of that human condition. We all "want" things and it's the pursuit of those wants that drives us. It's also those pursuits that create interesting and riveting storytelling.
Writers have to find this difficult balance between telling stories and finding the intricacies of the human will. Luckily, in many cases, they go hand in hand. It's up to us as story tellers to blend them in a way that will resonate with readers. Of course, if you're Harper Lee, the whole plot thing might be optional :), but unfortunately, we aren't all Harper Lees. For most of us, an engaging story needs to accompany rich and vibrant characters.
Right now, I'm off to find that balance in my new book, Finding the Music. No vampires or sword fights in this one either, but hopefully a story worth following, along with characters that strive for what they want. Because isn't that why we turn the page?
11/4/2015 11:58:08 am
Great Book! Truly an amazing and compelling story!
3/3/2017 08:24:49 am
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