Transgressive Fiction Plot

What is Plot?

Types and Stages of a Plot

Should You Plan A plot?

Inciting incident

Plot in Transgressive Fiction

As I explained in previous article, "Characterization", I have focused so much on characterization in the development of a transgressive fiction, plot has tended to be ignored. For many outlining never works in fiction writing, mainly because planning plot has never worked for them. For them the story can become flat if they try to stick to an outline. So, if you're one of those writers, even with a general idea in mind of where the story is going, you'll most probably let it grow away from any plans. As an example, King in his book On Writing, mentions that there are three parts in a novel: narration, description, and dialogue. He adds that, "I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and, second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible." (163) Before we go further, let's talk about plot.

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What is Plot?

In a literary work, "the plot is the sequence of events where each affects the next one through the principle of cause-and-effect." (source) Plot is similar to the term storyline, however, there's a difference between them. A plot is the way a writer tries to make the readers interested in what he/she tells. So, a "storyline" is a series of events that happen through time but a "plot" is the telling of these events in ways that create interest for the reader through the use of narration and dialogue to create emotional attachment to a character. However, plot can also mean a narrative summary or story synopsis without having a specific cause and effect sequence. So what makes a good plot?

  1. A plot should explain a series of connected events events in a story.

  2. It also needs to shows a cause and effect relationship between each event.

  3. It has to link the actions and events in a logical way.

Types and Stages of a Plot

Plots can be as simple as a traditional ballad or complex structures including a subplot or imbroglio. To create a plot, I recommend you to use Japanese manga style "Rough" that is called the nemu which actually is equivalent to "storyboard". In this style, they first create the roughs which are quick sketches arranged within a suggested page layout. The main goals of roughs outline are to:

  1. Lay out the flow of panels across a page

  2. Ensure the story successfully builds suspense

  3. Work out points of view, camera angles, and character positions within panels

  4. Serve as a basis for the next stage of development, the "pencil" stage, where detailed drawings are produced in a more polished layout which will, in turn, serve as the basis for the inked drawings. (source)

In general, there are 5 aspects or stages in a plot according to Freytag:


1) Exposition

Exposition is the starting point of a story and clear the way for following events. It is in this part that main characters are introduced, the setting is built, and main conflicts are revealed. In addition, this is where your character’s backstory should be presented to show why the main characters think and behave in a certain way.