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Plot Development When Writing A Novel, by Stephanie Cowell

An area I fear I’m struggling with at the moment. Sounds so simple and easy yet it’s so difficult!

Writing Historical Novels

I am not a writer who plots first: I develop characters who tend to wander around the chapters as if they were out for an interesting stroll and might or might not be home for supper. So I am writing about a subject that is a struggle for me: the rising plot line.

I think of a rising plot line as leading the reader up a path on a gently ascending hill, stopping to look around from time to time and finally, a little breathless, coming to the top to look back at the way we have come. The problem is, lives aren’t like that. Lives meander. And so I use many tricks in my story which seem artificial but when I print out and read I can feel the rising momentum, the gathering of strength and interest.

A novel is a subtle manipulation of real life within planned structure…

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