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Posted on September 6, 2011

You can be the best author in the world – as in, a writer of words, a composer of the most descriptive prose – but unless the plot is any good, then you may as well become a poet. Plotting isn’t easy; I find it very hard indeed – which is a problem, since most of my books have been crime thrillers (where the plot is of paramount importance). I don’t do it very well, but maybe my experience can help you. I hope that I can give you a few easy rules to assist you in your writing.

Firstly, it’s important that the reader likes the central character(s). He or she is known technically as the protagonist and there has been great intellectual debate about whether there can be only one such in a narrative. Publishers look at the likely readership of a book and they want your hero to appeal to them. Thus, for a science fiction novel, they want the hero to appeal more to men, and less to those who have little interest in the fantastic, the unrealistic or the impossible. Few sf books have sixty year old women who like soap operas as the protagonist.

However, I would say to you, the most important person who has to like the hero is YOU.

Forget the sodding publishers.

Tags: fiction, Plots, plotting