Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Author Series #21: Plot Development by Anna James

Today, Anna James, another regular here on Unwritten, shares a great informative post on developing plots. Many of you have heard this before, but for those just starting out in fiction writing, it's essential to know, and for the veterans, this is a good review. Read on!


Hi Everyone,

I’m Anna James, author of contemporary romance novels and I invite you to take a break from everyday life and get lost in a world filled with desire, passion and romance! Today I’d like to share with you my thoughts on plot development. Plot is an essential element of a good story. So let’s start at the beginning with a definition.
The plot - is a sequence of events that serves to move a story from the beginning through its climax or turning point to the resolution of its conflicts. It’s also why the story happens and why the protagonist learns or grows, or begins or chooses something.  It’s revealed through the characters actions and agendas and usually starts in a place that captures a reader’s attention.
Most stories follow the same basic sequence of events. Keep in mind the following as you create your story:
  • Rising Action: This where the events and actions become complicated and the conflict is revealed.
  • Climax/Turning Point: The point at which the protagonist decides how to resolve a conflict or faces those conflicts. At this point the story moves from building conflict to resolving conflict. It IS NOT necessarily the most exciting part of the story, but often times it is.
  • Falling Action: Everything that happens as a result of the climax.
  • Resolution/Denouncement: The part of the story that sums up or brings the conflicts to their conclusion. It should be believable, and not a huge surprise, because the plot should have been building up to that point.
Sometimes special elements of plot are needed to enhance the story and make it more detailed or interesting. They can include:
Buy it HERE!
  • Foreshadowing: used as a way to create tension and rising conflict and to move the story closer to its eventual outcome. It gives hints about what may eventually occur or be decided.
  • Flashback – An interruption of the current action to show what happened at an earlier time.
  • Stream of Consciousness: The author provides the protagonist’s thoughts through interior monologues throughout the course of the story. These thoughts do not have to be sequential or linear, and they allow the reader to experience both external action and internal thoughts and feelings about the action in the story.
Here is a quick glimpse of the plot for my latest release To Love and Trust again.

Three years ago Molly Quin walked out of Dan Berringer’s apartment and told him that she wanted nothing to do with him ever again. Now, after accepting a position with Bennett Engineering, she will have to see Dan every day. Fate could be so cruel! Seeing him again so unexpectedly, she discovered to her chagrin, brought back feelings she thought she’d dealt with a long time ago. 
Dan Berringer made a mistake. He’d hurt Molly badly. He wants her back now and will stop at nothing to win her including letting Max McDermott get in his way.

Max McDermott wants Molly Quin. She’s smart, funny and sexy as hell, but he is reluctant to pursue her. He knows Molly is attracted to him too but what about her relationship with Dan Berringer? And is he willing to become involved with someone he works with again?

Follow Molly on her journey as she deals with hurts from the past and her feelings in the present and learns how to love and trust again.


Hi I’m Anna James, author of contemporary novels and I invite you to take a break from everyday life and get lost in a world filled with desire, passion, and romance!

I have been writing for years and was first published in 2010. Since then I have published seven stories.

I was born in Connecticut and lived there until I was nine years old. My family and I spent the next eleven years living in Williamsville, a suburb just outside of Buffalo, NY. I returned to Connecticut after receiving my associates degree in Engineering Science and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I continue to live in Connecticut with my husband and children.
I am a romantic at heart and enjoy reading and writing romance novel.

Follow me on Twitter - @authorannajames


  1. Thanks for having me here today Mysti - it's great to be back!


  2. Excellent post, Anna. Your blogs are always worth reading

  3. GREAT post, Anna, and THANKS for sharing! Im passing on the Link to a few wanna-be author friends....

    Kari Thomas

  4. Thanks Tara, Jenny and Kari for stopping by. I'm glad you like the post.


  5. Hi Anna,

    Very helpful post. I'm a planter, myself. That is, a combination of a plotter and a panster. heh. Love how you break down the plot development into easy to understand stages. Bringing romance into everyday life is a great job. In a way, you're like an everyday cupid, only you shoot arrows dipped in hot sauce. :)

    Laurel w.


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