marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Plot devices

John Gardner once sagely observed that writing exercises were good practice because they were like the writing life, much of which consists of inventing stuff not because you particularly want to but because it is vitally important for what you really want to write. 

Wrestling with two such plot devices. A prince has to lose his temper and convince a heroine he might be dangerous, but not so easily or irrationally that she bolts. A free field for the object of his ire, except that it can't be her. Hmmmm-- it may even be a completely rational burst of fury, because she's primed to worry at the moment. . . .

And a different heroine, having a field of magic unique where she is, has to do a king a favor, because she will need to collect in the future, at the climax. Not that people will listen easily even with it, but she needs some way to throw her weight around. And the only thing I've concluded is that a sagacious wizard will point the king at her.

Such is the development of plots. So much support for the central points.
Tags: characterization, endings, idea development, plot devices, world-building: magic (effects)

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