How Plot Grows – According to Anne Lamott

In her book, BIRD BY BIRD, Anne Lamott writes, “Plot grows out of character.  If you focus on who the people in your story are, if you sit and write about two people you know and are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen.”

She goes on to say, “….don’t worry about the plot.  Worry about the characters.  Let what they say or do reveal who they are, and be involved in their lives, and keep asking yourself, Now what happens?  The development of relationship creates plot.”

Every book on my keeper shelf is there because of the characters.  If a book doesn’t have compelling characters that make me care, I usually end up putting the book down and forgetting about it.  And yet, even though I am aware of this, I often find myself working on a story and thinking, “What should happen next?”  Instead, I should be thinking, “What would my characters do next?”

Copyright © 2013 Theresa Ragan. All rights reserved.

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