Monday, August 23, 2010


A novel should have at least one major storyline known as the plot. The plot can be simple and liner or more complex and intertwined with other smaller stories known as sub plots. Complexity of the plot depends on the readership a writer expects to gain, or his or her target market.
Writers who target children or the youth must have very simple and therefore linear plots woven around a main character, the protagonist and another main character, the antagonist who stands in the way of the antagonist’s success. Such story lines targeted at younger readers must have a limited number of supporting characters.
Writers targeting advanced readers have greater control over their storyline and can afford more complex non linear plots, sub plots and a large number of characters. Novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Brothers Karamazov by Feodor Dostoevsky have hundreds of characters almost competing with real life town life.
How then should the writer go about this? Identify your target readers, pick on your main characters, and plot your story outline, first in a linear manner before introducing any twists and turns.

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