I just read this mind blowing advise about plot from this book.
It said “Your resolution should tie closely to the story’s beginning. It should refer back to the conflict that was introduced in the story’s opening lines.”
That means that the conflict that the character will face, will be introduced within the first few lines of the book! Seriously?
Try it out! It is true! I’m sure there are exceptions, and this may be more true for children’s books. But, I was floored to see how often the conflict is already there within the first two sentences.
Here are just a few examples I pulled off my shelf.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White “Where is papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
The conflict of the book is totally about keeping Wilbur from getting the ax.
Resolution: Wilbur does not get the ax.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Mr. And Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
Conflict: Harry Potter is a wizard who doesn’t fit in in either the wizarding world or the real world.
Resolution: Harry Potter finds his place in the wizarding world, despite his aunt and uncle’s determination to not be involved in anything strange.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer: “What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe…… (it goes on for a while after that).
Conflict: Oskar Schell’s father dies, and he misses him terribly.
Resolution: He finds peace with his father’s death and is able to move on.
Just one more:
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey: “You know there was an old woman mugged around here?”
Conflict: Elizabeth is Missing.
Resolution: I don’t know. I haven’t finished the book yet. But I’ll bet you it has something to do with that woman who was mugged!