It’s difficult to know if the ability to plot a good story is something that is genetically endowed or whether it can be learned.
What’s certain is that it’s difficult to tell a good story.
Many can draw a compelling character, paint words into scenes that ring in your thoughts for days, or snap through the back and forth of expert dialogue.
But all of this still needs a storyline, even a loose one.
Take a look at this image from Norman Mailer’s plot for Harlot’s Ghost. It’s not the details that a novelist needs to consider, but the connections. Perhaps it’s worth plotting a story out before or during or even after writing, but what’s most important is keeping the concept of the connections in mind.
Susan Barnes says
Yes, the connections. It’s all about connections. I wonder how big that piece of paper is that has Norman’s plot diagram on it. Do you know? Is it a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet? It looks almost like a map.