Friday, 3 September 2010

Problem : Solution : Problem

If you're stuck with your plot try this: think of it in terms of problems and solutions.  

Take Cinderella, for example.  She wants to go to the ball, but doesn't have any kit - that's her problem.  The solution?  The Fairy Godmother provides it.  But - and this is the clever bit - the solution comes with a problem attached.  So, the kit's going to vanish at midnight - Problem.  

Cinders goes to the ball, falls in love so forgets about the time - Problem.  Solution - she runs away, before telling the Prince how to find her  - Problem. 

The Prince wants to find her - Problem - but all there is is the slipper - Solution - but who does it fit? - Problem - get everybody to try it on - Solution - but the ugly sisters keep Cinders away - Problem - until she pushes herself forward/Buttons pushes her forward and tries it on - Solution.  

In real life we have problems, and our solutions usually sort them out for us.  I want to avoid X (problem) so I cross the road (solution).  However, in fiction, our solutions can't work out.  I cross the road (solution) and get run over (problem). Try looking at your story line.  If too many of your solutions work for your characters, then it's not going to be a compelling read.  


Bec said...

Wow, that makes an awesome kind of sense.

Lexi said...

Thanks for the reminder! I'm working on revisions so this will definitely help1

Sarah Duncan said...

Hope it's useful to both of you!