Developing Plots From Stories

Developing plots from stories takes ideas and turns them into novels. When I began “Dora’s Story”, I began with the idea of following a dairy goat as she grows up. This led to a list of stages a goat goes through growing up from a breeder through her owners. I had a story idea.

developing plots from stories was complicated in Dora's Story

The idea was further developed from a list of possible owners and what they would do with this goat. I had a list of a dozen possible owners drawn from the many goat owners I’ve known or read about. But I didn’t have a plot.

My basic plot was the story of an owner losing her goat and finding her again years later. I went through my story list and selected several I could fit into the plot idea. Each owner then became a story within the main story and needed a plot.

Whenever I am developing plots from stories I go through a similar process. Some of my books are straightforward. For these the story becomes a bullet point list of plot points which become the novel.

Developing the plots from stories takes another twist for a novel like “Capri Capers” formatted like a movie serial. Each chapter needed a cliff hanging ending. The basic story was for Harriet to gain her dreams of property and goats then fall in love with Arthur.

developing plots from stories can take time coordination

Two sets of villains enter the story. Leroy Rogue is a dastardly villain and pulls suitably evil schemes. Dan Janus is only trying to marry money and pulls off little stunts through his two helpers.

Again I did a list of bullet points, one for each happening. This let me set up the cliff hangers. The original draft actually followed the old movie serial format where each chapter replayed the cliff hanger inserting how it was avoided. The final draft edited out the replays.

Every writer must find the way of developing plots from stories that works for them. I’ve met writers who use extensive outlines. Others create the character and story in their heads, sit down and write whatever comes to mind. I prefer using bullet point lists and time lines.