STATUS: Gosh, it was too gorgeous outside to work. What the heck. It’s January. I need it to snow so I don’t want to skip work!
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? RIGHT DOWN THE LINE Gerry Rafferty
One of the problems of having blogged for so long, since 2006 if you can believe it, is that I often feel like I’m repeating myself. When I mentioned this to an agent friend of mine who also blogs, she said that I simply can’t worry about it.
I think she’s right. So I’ve probably blogged on this topic before but what the heck, it’s worth saying again.
A novel’s plot should not be a series of conversations where characters move from one place to another and all they do is have chats with other characters.
(Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE might be the one exception. But even at closer look, you can see that Rice didn’t fall into that trap. Even though that novel is basically one long conversation, the vampire narrates scenes as if they were actually happening so there is sense of immediacy, action, and event plotting to carry the novel.)
We see this a ton in fantasy manuscripts but hey, it’s not limited to that genre. Recently, I’ve seen this structure in a lot of young adult samples we’ve been reading.
By the way, established writers can fall into this trap–usually when they are on deadline and simply trying to get the story on the page.
Take a moment to evaluate your own novel. How many times do you have characters sitting down and having a conversation? If it’s a lot, you might want to start rethinking your “plot”!