Monday, May 18, 2009


How do you create a sub-plot in novel?

One easy way is to write other chapters showing the different viewpoints of other characters or an alternative timeline of a memory of your main character. It is by these conventions that you can introduce new ideas that develop into new sub-plots.

Have you sub-plots work their way through the novel. The paths can cross at several times throughout. Sometimes, you sub-plot can take over as the main plot for time to time so that your reader will want to keep turning the page to see how all of these things come together in the end.

Be careful not to give too much away. You reader should not be able to put all of the pieces together until you, the author, want them to. Remember that the sub-plots should tie things up at the end or give way to a new route for a sequel if that is your goal.

If you have an old novel or a stalled one, take another look at it. See if a sub-plot could breathe new life into it. It may be that your new sub-plot could end up being a newly refreshed main plot you book desperately needed. You never know, until you try!

Copyright 2009 - Lynn Tincher

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Plotting - Lynn Tincher defines the term plot as this:

1. A secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, esp. a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot to overthrow the government.

2. Also called storyline.The plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.

Think of a plot as a roadmap to take your reader from the beginning of your story to the end. Nothing should happen at random. Every element should have significance and be purposeful. Each character has an agenda. We should be able to see why they care about the situation. The main plot of a story is the combination of the plots of its individual characters.

Each character has a personal agenda that changes based on the agendas of others. Foreshadowing is a great tool to lead your reader along the plot line. The trick is to put the plot into your story without the reader knowing about it or its importance. Remember that you are telling a story and stay on track with the story you're telling.

The protagonist must take charge of the story and its events eventually. They may be passive for a while, learning, scheming, and the like but they have to take charge. Every event, every thought, every happening must lend to the plot line and its characters development. Have fun with all of the devious little ways to coax and tease the reader along.

Copyright 2009 - Lynn Tincher

Monday, May 4, 2009

Character Interaction by Lynn Tincher

There are several ways that characters in you story can interact. Not only do they speak to each other, they exchange glances, or glares, hold hands, pat on the back, or punch each other in the face.

The important thing is to define your character. Create an outline on a separate piece of paper that will help guide you in the behavior of your character in different situations. Is your character hot headed? If so, keep that in mind when they run up against obstacles.

Dialog is a very important tool for character interaction. Wikipedia describes dialog as this: A dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog) is a conversation between two or more people. It is also a literary form in which two or more parties engage in a discussion. It is used to make a person feel like they are there listening to the conversation happen in person.

Venture out to your favorite restaurant or social gathering. Listen in. Yes, I'm telling you to eaves drop. If you don't want to keep notes, carry around a small recorder and tape the conversation around you. Study up on how people talk to each other, their inflections, stutters and pauses. This will help you construct dialog that flows well and is believable.

This is not all dialog does. It's a great way to give vital information. The inflection or vocabulary used can help define education, social standing, or belief systems of your character. Make sure that your dialog stays in character. If your character is uneducated, don't have him citing physics.

Be very careful when using "bookisms". For example, don't have your character sigh or yawn their way through every sentence they speak. Also you want to be careful using adverbs like John said angrily or Jane said warily.

Be aware that most characters do not use the person's name when speaking to someone.

"George, you ate all of your peas!"
"I did, Mom."
"I'm very proud of you, George."

Info-dumping is another technique to avoid. Characters are not going to tell each other everything they know. Rely on memories. Some information is necessary, but make sure to over using dialog to explain background details or recaps. This type of dialog can lose a reader. It seems false and lifeless.

Don't forget to use the word said. Said is a word that our brains see as invisible yet it lets the reader know who spoke. As with all of the others mentioned, do not overuse any of them in your writing. Use them in moderation. Rules are made to be broken but not demolished. A great piece of writing will include variations of everything mentioned above. Keep it interesting.

Copyright 2009 - Lynn Tincher

About Me

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The Literary Lynnch Pen is a weekly newsletter published by Lynn Tincher. About Lynn: Lynn was born in the small town of La Grange, Kentucky and grew up in Goshen. Lynn studied Theater Arts in College in hopes of becoming a Drama/English teacher. She has written articles in local newspapers and travel brochures. Now, she is focused on writing novels, short stories and poems. The second edition of her book "Afterthoughts" will be released in April of 2009 with the sequel "Left in the Dark" to be released on October of 2009. She also manages Artist Corner, an artist social website dedicated to help all artists become successful. Her eZine and website provides helpful tips and information. Lynn also provides email list management services. She has partnered with Constant Contact to help provide authors, artists, and small businesses the services to manage their email lists and marketing strategies, eZines, electronic newsletters, coupons and bulletins. Please visit: