Faber Session 10 – Story Vs Plot


Ok, well today, you do get a picture of last nights cake!

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Lemon, rosemary & olive oil cake! Oh how I will miss you once the Faber course is over *sighs whistfully* But enough of the cake porn, lets get down to the nitty gritty 🙂

Tonight, the discussion centered around what the difference is between story and plot. The simplest way to show the difference is by using the example given by Nigel Watts in his excellent book Write A Novel where he says:

The King died and then the Queen died. Is a story.
The King died and then the Queen died of grief. Is a plot.

Causality distinguishes story from plot. Does that make sense?

In it’s basic terms it boils down to:
character=choices=causality

Its basically the choices, that lead to consequences, which then becomes the plot.

We talked about Christopher Bookers 7 Basic Plots and why they work.

Then talked about plot bombs and how to keep the plot moving.

A very interesting session where my critique of last week was used as an example, as what we shouldn’t be doing, i.e. throwing everything at our reader in the first 5,000 words…whoops! *snigger* 🙂

So do you agree? Are there only 7 Basic plots or would you say there are more? And if you have another theory on the definition of a plot, I’d love to hear it 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Faber Session 10 – Story Vs Plot

  1. Love the cake porn!
    I’m still in the confused stage when it comes to discovering plot (Exhibit A: My NaNoWriMo 2012 draft!) but so far I get by by asking the question, “Why?” when a new development comes up. (The king died: Why? Then the queen died: Why?) Then I write about it.
    Thanks for the link to Christopher Booker’s 7 Plots! I’m going to miss this peek into your Faber classes.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this information, Vikki. I’ve saved all you sessions, I hope!!! They’re great to dip into to remind us of things that are so easily ‘touch typed’ past when the Muse takes us. xxx

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  3. Cake porn! Cake porn! Cake porn! just felt like saying it….and on the subject of plots if I was into tattoos – which I am not – I might have Chekhov’s saying etched down the side of my writing hand ‘If you have a gun in Act One it better go off by Act Three….’

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  4. I love it when people break down such a complex lesson into the simplest terms. I love how story is differentiated from plot here, and I think this is perfect in the aftermath of NaNo. Now I’ll go back to see if I have a story or a plot! 😉

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