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What Makes A Plot Strong?

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Old 11-19-2017, 01:59 PM
DwayneA (Offline)
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Default What Makes A Plot Strong?


I have read online concensus' for various films on Rottentomatoes and certain game reviews on gamespot about them having a thin plot. Exactly what is meant by a thin plot? What's the difference between a strong plot and a weak plot?

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Old 11-19-2017, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DwayneA View Post
I have read online concensus' for various films on Rottentomatoes and certain game reviews on gamespot about them having a thin plot. Exactly what is meant by a thin plot? What's the difference between a strong plot and a weak plot?


Itís in the details. Complex and complicated characters interacting in unpredictable ways. Good guys who are not all good, bad guys who are not all bad, people in love who question their relationships, themselves. Characters who act in impulsive (yet believable) ways.

Then, the story has to go somewhere. The MC May learn something along the way. There must be tension and release (even if itís subtle), to propel the story.

I think it has to be a complete package though. The writing mechanics, the dialogue, the right amount of exposition.

I donít think there are many story ideas that havenít been told in some way, and I donít think a completely original story is necessary. Itís not what happens, but how it happens.


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Old 11-19-2017, 03:13 PM
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still sounds confusing to me
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Itís in the details. Complex and complicated characters interacting in unpredictable ways. Good guys who are not all good, bad guys who are not all bad, people in love who question their relationships, themselves. Characters who act in impulsive (yet believable) ways.

Then, the story has to go somewhere. The MC May learn something along the way. There must be tension and release (even if itís subtle), to propel the story.

I think it has to be a complete package though. The writing mechanics, the dialogue, the right amount of exposition.

I donít think there are many story ideas that havenít been told in some way, and I donít think a completely original story is necessary. Itís not what happens, but how it happens.


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Well said.

For me a good plot doesn't feel like a plot at all. A plot is a plan, after all, and real life doesn't usually unfold according to plans. Little details that are random or unrelated to the plot add an element of realism, and keep people like me, who can't help but try to understand everything, rooted to the spot while I try to figure them out.

The best plots I've ever encountered had deep back-stories. When you thoroughly develop a back-story the plot becomes an inevitable extrapolation of past events, and everything that transpires does so because it must, because there's no other alternative. You understand the motives behind a protagonist's actions, behind the villain's actions, behind everyone's actions, and because of that you can relate to the events. You can say: If I were in his/her shoes, having gone through the same things, I'd do that too.

But as Brian said: the plot is secondary. Look at the famous Russian authors. For Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky the plot was nothing. It was all about the people, all about exploring reactions and motivations and character. I can't think of a classical novel that had a romping plot-line. Most of the classics are classics because they explored something real in human nature. They touched on things common to us all but rarely articulated.
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:34 AM
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It depends on the personality of the person reading the story. For me it's unpredictability. I need a story to have twists that, while still in keeping with the workings/internal logic of the story, events don't feel like they are meant to happen.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DwayneA View Post
still sounds confusing to me


Itís also a matter of what kind of writing youíre talking about. Some of the genre fiction, like fantasy, adventure, and some sci-fi stuff are based on The Heroes Journey. You might read Joseph Campbellís book on the subject if this is your thing.

Literary fiction may have a looser or minimalist plot line and be more about internal struggle. There are books I love where almost nothing happens outside of the characters heads.

These arenít rules of course, but it might be helpful to know what kind of writing youíre talking about.




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Old 11-27-2017, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DwayneA View Post
I have read online concensus' for various films on Rottentomatoes and certain game reviews on gamespot about them having a thin plot. Exactly what is meant by a thin plot? What's the difference between a strong plot and a weak plot?


("...just whatever makes it pulling I guess..." ventured the goblin hoping to be forgiven for the way he wrote though, then adding "...where if not, then who cares how well it is actually written, or however much it is credible or incredible even, for simply the reader won't follow the plot down its path, nor get caught under its spell neither, so online writing is ever a benchmark of "pulling" under a yardstick of "hitcount", where the rest is mere conjecture between us...", to which the goblin simply asked in return "...and what would pull you towards this pen here, where more folks read "short interactive content" than most anything else today, yet you tell me how many writers actually see their posts as the entry point to their readers now, where if you ever get to see things as I do, then you'll just know that the plots begins with the post itself as it pulls one under its spell by prompting a vision from within one...", but that was just goblins for you, where they too were whatever one saw of them he guessed, adding "...so if you see what I mean how do I look now...)

Last edited by fleamailman; 11-27-2017 at 02:08 AM..
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