Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Plot'

The Battle Of Conflict - My Writers' Group's Take On Story


The main focus of our meeting this morning - midst laughter and chat - was the final construction and distribution of the booklet we have put together as a group. Titled Battle, and told in narrative, poetic and comic form, the theme confronts some of...

Posted at 11:21am on 23rd October 2019

Creative Writing Workshop: Characteristic Conflict

In the last Creative Writing Workshop, we looked at the way in which we can go about Creating Credible Characters. Now I'm going to show you how you can bring creativity to the way you construct conflict. This is crucial when it comes to writing fiction and memoir...

Posted at 10:43am on 3rd August 2019

Creative Writing Workshop: Creating Credible Characters

When we looked at the issue of Crafting Character in the last Creative Writing Workshop, I said that Characters - whether in fiction or true-life stories - need:

Credibility - to be true to life Creativity - in the way they respond to conflict Complexity - the depth which makes them three dimensional


Posted at 04:22am on 27th July 2019

Creative Writing Workshop: Crafting Character

Today we're going to look at Crafting Character, and its importance in terms of plot and theme. This was the topic of the previous post in this series - the way in which The Riverbed of Theme runs through the narrative of a story, be it fictional or memoir....

Posted at 04:18am on 26th July 2019

Creative Writing Workshop: Digging Deep For Plots

In the Introduction of this Creative Writing Workshop, I asked the question, Are You On the Right Track? There was nothing flippant about this. Before you begin to write your book, there are questions to be asked. And answered!

The content of this, and future tutorials, will...

Posted at 08:38am on 30th March 2019

Creative Writing Workshop Introduction - Are You On The Right Track?

Right, let's see. Are you on the right track? Is it that you want to write a book but don't know where to start? Or that you've already written your book, but don't know how to get it published?

From past experience, over many decades, I think I...

Posted at 07:42am on 30th March 2019

How To Be A Writer Of Christian Fiction Books

Are you an established writer or aspiring author who is also a Christian?  Is there a novel you want to write (or have written) for which you are unable to find a publisher?  Do you enjoy reading mainstream fiction but find that Christian fiction books leave you cold?  How does...

Posted at 15:50pm on 24th June 2011

Develop Plot Ideas: A Combination Of Negative Personality Traits

My posts, in the last few days, have covered the way in which an aspiring author can use a combination of plot ideas to develop characterisation. For the purposes of demonstrating this aspect of creative writing, I’ve used a classical story taken from the Bible: the tale of Samson and Delilah. Since the entire...

Posted at 11:28am on 21st June 2010

Developing Plot Ideas To Show Characterisation

I suggested, last week, that creative writing - that is writing a novel – requires an understanding of human nature. So where is an author to turn for such material? How can your book have that ring of authenticity whilst maintaining a page turning quality?

Any well-known, classical, story may be used as the...

Posted at 10:58am on 16th June 2010

Creative Writing Plot Ideas: Dealing With Manipulative People

Whether you’re looking for new creative writing plot ideas, characters for your novel, or how to deal with negative personality traits in real life, there’s plenty of material to be found in this old story about Samson and Delilah. Tom Jones song must, surely, have made her one of the best known bad girls...

Posted at 18:11pm on 11th June 2010

Creating Character Led Conflict In Your Novel

Last month I began what turned out to be a series about Transactional Analysis. It was what I call a combi-article: one designed to help real people with real needs, but also to inform the creative writing of authors of fiction. Titled Conflict Resolution: Relationship Psychology – And Creating Fictional Characters, my intention was...

Posted at 15:09pm on 8th February 2010

Creative Writing Tips And The Definition Of Denouement

This article has been revised & updated on: 6th September, 2010.
Photo: Looking back down to the end of the funicular railway at the sea below!

I expect many of you, as an aspiring author, will know that a novel has a beginning, a middle and an end. That’s pretty obvious, I would have thought. But...

Posted at 22:56pm on 5th May 2009

The Structure Of A Novel: Twelve Tips

You’ve decided to start writing a novel but you’ve no idea where to begin. Or perhaps you’ve already made a start but haven’t a clue how to proceed. You thought that once you’d started it would simply flow, but now you’re finding that pulling all the strands together to bring the wretched thing to its...

Posted at 20:35pm on 26th March 2009

Crafting Fiction: Understanding How Scenes In Novels Are Constructed - Part 1

How do you go about constructing the scenes in a novel? Many writers simply sit down and write, in the belief that to do otherwise impedes the flow of creativity. Others ‘story-board’ the plot in a carefully assembled series of scenes for each character, arranged in sequence on a pin board. Yet others do something...

Posted at 11:56am on 27th February 2009

Modern Morality: What Is Its Place In Contemporary Fiction?

See, also, my post titled: Does Glamorising Abusive Sexual Relationships Adversely Influence Society? written in response to a recent BBC discussion about the merits (or otherwise) of a book like 50 Shades of Grey.

What do you learn about life, characterisation, plot or theme from what you read, or watch on...

Posted at 18:24pm on 25th February 2009

The Seven Plot Lines: Rebirth

It seems appropriate to be thinking of Rebirth as the last of the seven story plots on Christmas Eve, because the birth that we celebrate tomorrow is the one that is meant to bring rebirth to the human race.

Kasia Body’s review of The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker in The Daily Telegraph (2004)...

Posted at 17:56pm on 24th December 2008

Creative Writing Tutorial: Voyage And Return

We’ve now looked at five of the seven plot lines which form the basis of all storytelling, and move on, today, to the penultimate Voyage & Return.

Rags to Riches
Overcoming the Monster
The Quest
Comedy Tragedy
Voyage and Return Rebirth VOYAGE & RETURN

Voyage and Return frequently follows not simply a physical journey, but an inner voyage of overcoming something...

Posted at 21:05pm on 20th December 2008

The Seven Plot Lines That Form The Basis Of A Creative Writing Process

I began this series by saying that, according to tradition, there are only seven basic plots which form the basis of all the stories ever told or written. They are:

Rags to Riches Overcoming the Monster The Quest Voyage and Return Comedy Tragedy Rebirth

We've already looked at the first three, and discovered that some story plots are...

Posted at 17:33pm on 18th December 2008

Seven Basic Plots: Part 3 - The Quest

I began this study on the seven plot lines that are said to be the basis of all stories, by examining what is meant by the rags to riches story, and that of overcoming the monster. Today I'm going to look at what it means to write about the quest.

Posted at 11:30am on 16th December 2008

The Seven Story Plots: Parts 1 & 2

It is said that there are only seven basic plots, to which all storylines adhere. Of these seven plot lines perhaps the best known is the rags to riches story. This, after all, is the basis of many of our favourite nursery rhymes and fairy stories. Think Cinderella, and Jack...

Posted at 00:00am on 14th December 2008

Creative Writing Techniques: How To Find Ideas For Plots

It seems that these days almost everyone is writing a book! Despite the fact that we’re told that computers have dumbed down and depleted our appetite for reading, increasing numbers of would-be authors are emerging. So with apologies to those who may already have read the following, I’m revising an article I wrote some time...

Posted at 09:00am on 1st December 2008

Plotting Stories: Off-topic Blogs May Be The Best Growing Medium For Your Budding Novel

One of the benefits of modern technology is that, as a writer, you have more information at your finger tips about who is connecting with your blog personality, and which content for your blog attracts most readers, than ever you could in the real world. So it’s exciting to know that, since I began...

Posted at 17:20pm on 19th November 2008

The How-to Of Creative Writing - Plotting Is A Journey

This is the last Post in this Series. Over the past few weeks you’ve been learning how to Plot your Story. Complete the process of writing your book by subscribing FREE to the next series.

SUBSCRIBE NOW *FREE* TO THE NEXT SERIES: CREATIVE WRITING – CRAFTING THE STORY. Your contact details will be kept secure at...

Posted at 17:49pm on 26th September 2008

The How-to Of Creative Writing - Where To Begin

Related Posts: Joining up the Dots HOW TO PLOT A NOVEL & HOOK YOUR READER

At what point do you decide if you’re going to like the book you’ve picked up to read? Almost certainly, it will be by the time you’ve reached the bottom of the first page. If the narrative hasn’t hooked you by...

Posted at 18:36pm on 20th September 2008

The How-to Of Creative Writing - Joining Up The Dots


How did you get on with the last session? I hope the update on all the previous tutorials was a help. For those of you who’ve just joined, the post titled The How-to of Creative Writing – What Makes A Story A Plot? – will link you to all relevant sessions.

Posted at 10:35am on 13th September 2008

The How-to Of Creative Writing - What Makes A Story A Plot?

I’m sorry I’m rather late with this week’s How-to of Creative Writing. I’ve been developing my website in the hope that it will make it easier for visitors to navigate. Also, I wanted to make sure that my readers – you! – understand what it’s all about. I hope you’ll take a look around and...

Posted at 17:35pm on 10th September 2008

Creative Writing - Creativity In Conflict


Ever felt that you fall out with your partner / colleague / mother about the same thing, over and over? Not sure why this happens? Even less sure what to do about it?

This Post will, I hope, be of interest to anyone reading it, not simply to...

Posted at 22:53pm on 5th September 2008

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