For the month of December, I decided to discuss the Elements of a Great Book. In the last few blogs, I began an in-depth look at the plot, and this blog will conclude the discussion. I’m spending this much time on the plot because as I read my students’ short stories, I often find their work doesn’t have an action that defines the storyline. I see the same thing as a Judge on the Reedsy website.
It used to be rare to find a book in a bookstore or your library lacking a plot. However, more and more people are self-publishing. There are books available that sometimes have weak stories, flawed characters, and improper grammar and punctuation.
Don’t let that be YOUR book.
An essential key to your plot is the antagonist and their role. Remember: an antagonist doesn’t always have to be a person. The role of the antagonist is simply to cause a problem for your protagonist. Your MC struggles to overcome the stumbling blocks put in their way by the antagonist. So – it could be the weather, an idea, or an issue in the world.
Ultimately, the introduction of your antagonist coincides with the inciting event and opening of the plot.
It is also essential to link the setting of your story to the plot. Using the background to advance the plot and keep the story moving will tie all the significant book elements together.
Next time, we will begin a discussion on the characters in a story. They are another critical element of a great book or story.