on Fiction University:
Here are five common plotting mistakes to avoid when writing a novel.
Plots are tricky things. They ought to be easy, since they’re just the steps characters go through to resolve a novel’s conflict, but for a lot of writers, those steps are loaded with traps and pitfalls. These writers have no trouble creating deep, fascinating characters and crafting compelling character arcs for them, but how they get those characters from Point A to Point B mystifies them.
Plotting doesn’t come naturally to all writers, same as developing characters, world building, or writing snazzy dialogue. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Once we identify (and accept) what we’re weak at, we can work on improving those areas and paying a little more attention to them in early drafts.
When plotting, it helps to remind yourself that a plot is the series of events that illustrate a story. It’s not the theme, the characters, the character arc, or the idea behind the novel—just what the characters actually do.