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Friday, November 23, 2007

Plot Structure: Wretched Excess

In honor of Thanksgiving and in recognition of the many blessings, sometimes to excess, which we have, I thought I'd share a few comments from the book, "20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald Tobias, on "Plot number 18: Wretched Excess."

Please keep in mind that this is only an introduction to what your story may need if you choose this plot structure, because I can not fully (or legally) include everything in this blog, but a few key points are:

1. Wretched Excess is a character driven story about the protagonist's psychological decline.

2. The decline should be shown in three phases: how the character is before the decline, how he successively deteriorates, and what happens after the crises--does he give in to his flaw or recover?

3. Avoid "excessive" emotion. This isn't melodrama.

4. Don't lose hold of your character to lunacy. Make certain you personally understand the excess or you'll lose credibility with your reader. Personal experience is almost imperative to this plot.

Hope this helps.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Can you share a few more details without breaking copyright? I'm not fully grasping the concept -- although I am sleep deprived, so it's probably just me. :)

Julie Wright said...

wretched excess sounds very fitting for the holiday season. Sounds like an interesting book. I may have to go buy it.