The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 3: Story and Plot

The Building Blocks of a Novel, Part 3: Story and Plot

Writing a novel is hard work. Everyone who has written a novel or tried to write one (or several) would most likely agree with that.

Much of the struggle today—besides from the writer’s fear of failure or judgment or feeling like a fraud or the like—is based in overcomplicating things. The fictional world the story is set in has to be rich in details, the characters complex and fully fleshed out, the scenes meticulously described, the characters’ actions explained so the reader gets what the writer wants to say or show, and so on.

That’s enough to get anyone overwhelmed.

There is, however, a way to make the process of writing a story a lot easier (at least in the beginning so you have a place to start because starting is the first step to actually getting somewhere). This solution I’m talking about is to simply break everything down into the most basic building blocks of a novel.

What is it that a novel truly needs? A world, a cast of characters, and a story/plot. This is the foundation of every novel and it is the place to start (you can figure out everything else later).

In this post, I’ll be writing about story and plot, the place they have in the novel, why they are important, and give you tips on how to structure and develop them to fit your novel.

The Hero’s Journey Explained: A Breakdown of its Different Stages

The Hero’s Journey Explained: A Breakdown of its Different Stages

The Hero’s Journey is a narrative pattern identified by Joseph Campbell, most notably outlined in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. This pattern of adventure and transformation is a universal one that runs through all kinds of mythic traditions across the world.

Christopher Vogler has simplified this pattern in his The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. While Joseph Campbell’s monomyth is described to have seventeen stages, I will focus on Christopher Vogler’s version (which is divided into twelve stages) and break them down for you.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, written by C. S. Lewis.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of ”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, written by J. K. Rowling.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of Daenerys Targaryen’s Journey in ”A Game of Thrones”

A Seven Point Story Structure Case Study of Daenerys Targaryen’s Journey in ”A Game of Thrones”

In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Daenerys Targaryen’s journey in A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.