Three more you say? What about the first three?
Almost two and a half years ago I blogged about three plots readers seem to love. At the time I said the blog needed a sequel. Then I moved on and never looked back.
Today I came across that post, and so I sat awhile, as the rain pattered on the roof of our sun room, and thought about the books I’ve read recently. And lo and behold, three more plots.
Interested? Then follow the link above to read the first post, especially my readers astute comments with their opinions and reading choices.
Busy? Then here is a quick synopsis:
- A woman in crisis returns to her hometown and makes peace with the past (and often the man) she left behind.
- A seemingly hopeless curmudgeon–male or female–is slowly, gently brought back into the light because of people who see his/her humanity and refuse to give up.
- A man or woman starts out with nothing and claws their way to the life they’ve always dreamed of.
With me so far? As I said, last time my blog readers came up with some great plots that they enjoy and some reasons why. Today, let’s look at three more.
Here we go:
Two or more very different women–often antagonists–are forced together to solve a mystery, a family problem, or because they’re required to work together in order to gain something they both want or need.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve probably done all these plots, sometimes more than once. For instance this one? How about Happiness Key and the two books that followed it? Four strangers who live in the same dilapidated beach community must band together to find the family of the old man in the fifth house who dies unexpectedly and alone.
Or what about the Goddesses Anonymous books beginning with One Mountain Away? Strangers are drawn together, one at a time, to form a group dedicated to helping women in trouble.
The book I’m about to begin uses this plot, too, but in a completely different way. Apparently I love this idea. How about you? Can you think of a book you’ve read that used this plot and inspired you?
Here’s the next one:
A woman who has been abused by a man, a boss, her family, or other people important to her who, often after a “last straw” moment rebels, stands up to the abuser and wins a new and better life for herself.
Do you remember A Woman of Substance, the mega-bestseller and mini-series written by Barbara Taylor Bradford and published in 1979? Suddenly books about women climbing to the top of whatever ladder they chose were everywhere. We all read them, and they fit into last year’s post on this subject. Are these plots as prevalent today? I think the emphasis has changed.
Today I don’t think this idea is used to show a woman climbing to the top as often as it is to show women can still find happiness after struggle and torment. Today she doesn’t have to control a corporation, she just has to find peace and hopefully love. I wrote No River Too Wide, about a woman who finally escapes from an abusive husband, and Prospect Street, about a woman who, after her marriage ends spectacularly, is forced to put her life back together in a very different way.
There’s a lot of room in that category, isn’t there?
Surprises twists aren’t “exactly” a plot but I’ve seen them so frequently of late that it almost seems as if the twist is the reason behind the plot.
Have you noticed this, too? The last four books I’ve read for fun all had amazing twists, and no, I didn’t see them coming. Why not? I was so immersed in the story I took everything at face value. Exactly what the authors wanted me to do. Here’s what I read:
- After the End by Clare Mackintosh
- I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh I found the first so interesting I tried this one, too.
- One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline Lisa Scottoline is my comfort read.
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah I read this for the Read Along with Emilie Richards Reading Challenge last month.
Each of these books has major twists unique to each plot. In the future I’ll be watching to see how many others have huge twists, too.
These days twists are in the air we authors are breathing. The fun of writing them didn’t escape me, either. A Family of Strangers, has lots. As I plotted my newest book–title not yet approved–twists were on my mind, too. From a writerly point of view, twists are fun to plot and a struggle to pull off. You have to give enough clues that the reader doesn’t feel cheated and withhold enough not to spoil the surprise. Depending on the reviewer, I either did or didn’t pull off the twists in A Family of Strangers. A few reviewers swear they saw them coming–although that didn’t seem to spoil the book for them– others were completely surprised. Luckily far more thought I did pull them off, which was gratifying.
And now the giveaway!
Comment on this post during the next week and tell me one book you’ve read that fits into any of the general plots I’ve discussed, either now or in 2017. I used examples here of my own books, since I know them best, but let us know how the books you’ve read fit in.
Random.org will choose one commenter to receive a copy of A Family of Strangers, my “twisted” book. You’ll receive either the eBook or a signed paperback, depending on where you live. But the real point will be to have fun and share what you think.