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Another writing day

by Frank on November 10th, 2012

The challenge I face today approaching the final section of this novel revision is to keep the plot moving faster while getting the necessary details aligned.  A long time ago I ran into the term “plot points” and never really understood it very well.  So, I’m going to define the term for my own uses here and now.  Here goes.  Plot points are the basic element of story–events, facets of character, turns of relationship between characters, features of setting, acts of nature like weather, storms, not to mention the season of the year, and even the time of day–anything indeed upon which the story hinges, even slightly.  They are the things that unfold, rub against each other and weave together in a logical if not sequential order so that the story’s climax becomes nothing more and nothing less than a matter of fate.  The cumulative effect of their articulation is the pulse that generates the energy that yields the climax, and it is their coming to rest in the denouement that allows the reader to return to his or her reality, moved and satisfied.  There should be no extraneous plot points because pointless detail detracts and weakens the final effect.  Furthermore, the major ones should be more or less resolved so as not to leave the reader nagged by unanswered questions.  My mantra today is: what would Tolstoy have done?

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