on Jane Friedman site:
Recently, I presented at a virtual summit for writers entitled “Escape the Plot Forest”—a full week of talks with nearly 30 speakers, with 3,000 people registered. Which is ample evidence of what pretty much every independent editor and book coach knows: Plot is the number one thing novelists and would-be novelists tend to struggle with, and it’s what people come to us for help with, day after day.
But eight times out of ten, as I see it, that’s not really the problem at all. The problem is that these writers don’t understand their protagonist’s character arc.
Because while a plot full of trouble, twists, suspense, and reveals will keep the reader turning the pages, in the end, it’s not the external events of the story that make a novel feel meaningful—it’s the internal journey that the protagonist has made along the way.