Image by Kristin Roach via Flickr
A good way of dreaming up plots is to look at proverbs and well known sayings and investigate what associations they spark in your mind.
Readers want to be taken out of themselves for a few minutes, whisked off to a world where exciting and intriguing things happen. They want their fiction to be different – more Technicolor than real life. They read to escape drudgery and dullness, so always try for setting and plots that break away from the commonplace and mundane.
The plot is the most important factor in a short story and nothing – but nothing should hold it up or challenge it for the reader’s attention. See also if you can have a circular or return ticket plotline where the story brings you back to the point at which the narrative started.
Also readers can get enough depression at home with red bills, ringing phones, noisy neighbors, demanding kids and grumpy spouses. They don’t need or want to read a depressing tale, so make your stories light, positive and up-beat.
Another way of plotting is the shaggy dog story. The writer builds up conflict, piles on suspense and then unexpectedly produces a comic punch line. Always try to deal with topics in a way that leaves the reader feeling uplifted and full of hope.
Have storylines that show characters taking charge of their own destiny and standing up for themselves. There is no such thing as an original plotline so it’s important that you find a new treatment that will make a storyline crackle with originality.
Keep the reader guessing. The more choices your hero has, the less predictable the storyline becomes. And having a simple theme to your story is great but don’t set out to give it a moral. You’ll end up a sermon or a piece of propaganda!