Sunday, March 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

More help while writing your novel

plunkett column sig

By
From page A2 | July 24, 2013 |

In last week’s column about how to write a novel, we discussed different types of fiction and the element of fiction. This week we will finish it up with types of conflict, types of plot and character development.

To have a successful novel, you must create some sort of conflict.

Character vs. character: Or protagonist vs. antagonist, or hero vs. villain, or margarine vs. butter. This is easily the most popular working conflict arrangement in literature.

Character vs. technology (or machinery, science, killer robots): This is mainly used in sci-fi.

Character vs. nature: In this theme, your protagonist is pitted against nature. The most well-known example of this is Robinson Crusoe. Probably the least-known example is Gerald Napalms the Dandelions, which was a limerick I wrote in third grade.

Character vs. self: Well-known examples of this format would be “A Beautiful Mind” and “Beowulf.” A little-known example would be “Get Out of My Head,” which was an epic haiku that I wrote in kindergarten.

Character vs. supernatural: The premise here is to pit your main character against a werewolf or a vampire or even a zombie, but this premise is so very seldom used nowadays that it’s hardly worth mentioning.

– – –

The way you convey your story can vary in style, but it is very important. This involves using different types of plots, such as:

Chronological order: This is where all the events of the story occur in the text in the exact order that they supposedly happen. It’s kind of like the way things actually happen in real life, only with less crying, but with more alcohol.

Flashbacks: This is also called an analepsis (you’re welcome). It’s used to interject a scene that takes the reader back to a time prior to the current point of the story. It’s often used to remind the reader of key narratives or events. For instance, I wrote a limerick back in third grade called, “Gerald Napalms the Dandelions.” Remember that? It’s kind of like that, only with less alcohol and a little more crying.

Style: Every writer has their own unique style (or voice). The narrative sets the entire mood and tone of your novel. This part is purely subjective, but always be true to your own style as you manipulate phrasing, diction, dialogue and fashion your sentence structure.

– – –

This leaves us with character development. Some might say that this is the fundamental building block to writing a novel. Others may infer that it’s the most difficult aspect of writing. Most would conclude that no matter what, it’s going to involve a lot of alcohol and crying.

There are many kinds of characters that you can employ.

Point-of-view character: This is the character who represents the point of view that the readers sympathize with, the character whose perspective with which the reader experiences the story. It’s kind of like what I’m doing right now.

Protagonist: This person is the driver of the action of the story and responsible for achieving the story’s objective goal. It’s kind of like what I’m doing right now.

Static character: This is a character that does not change during the course of the story. It’s kind of like Gerald in my limerick that I wrote in third grade called “Gerald Napalms the Dandelions.”

Antagonist: This is a person (or group of people, or a thing, such as a corn dog) who opposes the main character. It’s kind of like in the multiple-versed quatrain that I wrote in nursery school that was titled “Joey the Snotty-Faced DooDoo Head.”

Dynamic character: This is a character who undergoes development during the course of the story, such as a brain transplant, breast augmentation or perhaps simply a fabulous pedicure.

Minor character: This is a bit player, or someone who simply makes a cameo appearance. “It’s kind of like what I’m doing right now.” “And also right now.”

– – –

Well, I hope this has been of some help to all of you aspiring writers out there. Just remember to keep on writing!

Thanks very much to the 43 people who ordered my eBook on Amazon last week. Many of you were able to download it on to your Kindle for free. My novel, “It Started with an Apple,” is no longer free, but it doesn’t cost very much and is well worth the price.

If you haven’t done so, download a copy of it today. It’s much better than my other story, “Gerald Napalms the Dandelions,” only with more crying and with less alcohol.

Reach C.W. Plunkett at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 17 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • California Business CenterJuly 24, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Writers might join writer groups. There's a great one right in our office building. They enjoy free conference rooms. Share ideas. Get inspiration. Learn from like minded writers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • C.W. PlunkettJuly 24, 2013 - 7:23 am

    What is the address of your building, random poster? :)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Random Diet and Fitness ExpertJuly 24, 2013 - 7:58 am

    I am writing a simple, condensed book about my diet plan that really works!....The plan consists of this....For B-fast, have one or two servings (bottles) of alcoholic beverage, one large serving of something PICKLED, one serving of something with Fiber, and 5 Prunes....For example this Morning...I had 2 Bottles of Killian's Red, 1 Medium size Jar of Pickled Herring in White Wine Vinegar, a 1/4 cup of KRETSCHMER Original Toasted Wheat Germ and 5 Prunes......OK.... So you get pleasantly soused, and then wait for the ensuing Day long Belly Ache (makes you not want to eat anything for 24 Hours), while meanwhile, the fiber and prunes are keeping you "cleaned out"....It really works, this diet does...Give it a try, you will be happy you dieted, I mean did!.....After all you are your PROTAGANIST and your own ANTAGONIST. It is you against your own fat!....This is the view point I will be employing for my Book.....Oh Plunkett!...You are such an inspiration to us all!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CinderellaJuly 24, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    AWESOME diet book. I would like an autographed copy, please.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • C.W. PlunkettJuly 24, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    Love the diet! I've already finished step #1 (2 alcoholic beverages {Coors Lights}, but I think I did something wrong so I'm going to start over with step #1 again... and perhaps even a third time too... I'd like an signed copy of your book too!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Conflict of Adam and Eve with SatanJuly 25, 2013 - 11:51 pm

    Some very interesting, but Dangerous reading is...Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan (Wikipedia this) as found in the Book..The Forgotten Books of Eden, by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr.......Dangerous as of course, these are not actually Biblical....But extremely moving as just literature in that it tells a story of what happened to Adam and Eve after they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden...(reading it has caused me problems in that I find myself thinking in context of portions of it being relevant to the real Bible, it really makes an impression). Just think how you would feel, you were innocent, pure, untainted, in Communion with God, in a perfect environment, guilt free, worry free, in pristine beautiful surroundings, your every need provided for with little effort....Then the Fall....Adam and Eve are of course devastated, afraid, hungry, dirty and naked, depressed beyond comprehension and they repeatedly try to Kill themselves, but God will not let them and revives them. Meanwhile the Devil is tormenting them, trying to bring about their destruction.....Really the way the couple's despair is described is very moving.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Amazing Grace -- HarmonicaJuly 27, 2013 - 9:24 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXN7ISyDNjw

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Chiquita Khrushchev (Chairman of the Society of Concerned Russian Orthodox Test Monkeys)July 27, 2013 - 9:36 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRse9bMqqyI

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Granny...I'm writin a Book! on little known REDNECK Inventions!July 27, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt_AgZ0zrrg

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Granny's Book Nook Selection...July 27, 2013 - 9:41 pm

    Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir [Paperback] by Joe Bageant

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Explaination....July 30, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    OIUHNBTD = Only if you have nothing better to do.......I am deciding to be mad at you again Michael so you are included....Plunkett please skip this one my idol your time is much too valuable to waste on this.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • OIUHNBTD = Gary, rlw and MichaelJuly 30, 2013 - 1:43 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOe1XPsu0gk

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FYI....Gary...Who drinks Rum?July 30, 2013 - 2:04 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nuPx0yXvBs

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NFSD...Woody Harrelson on David LettermanJuly 30, 2013 - 8:13 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcpavR0cinU

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • This Mentoring is Very Taxing StuffJuly 30, 2013 - 8:17 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI8t1SvF8jY

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Wikipedia Charles HarrelsonJuly 30, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Joseph Chagra later testified during Harrelson's trial that Harrelson claimed to have shot Kennedy and drew maps to show where he was hiding during the assassination. Chagra said that he did not believe Harrelson's claim, and the AP reported that the FBI "apparently discounted any involvement by Harrelson in the Kennedy assassination." According to Jim Marrs in 1989's Crossfire, Harrelson is believed to be the youngest and tallest of the "three tramps" by many assassination researchers. Marrs stated that Harrelson was involved "with criminals connected to intelligence agencies and the military" and suggested that he was connected to Jack Ruby through Russell Douglas Matthews, a third party with links to organized crime who was known to both Harrelson and Ruby....See spooks ( like G. Bush) and hired Mafia w/FBI and CIA ties were all around the Kennedy assassination....but it seems that Mobster James Files fired the fatal shot from the Grassy knoll (on behalf of Johnson, Hoover, the CIA, Dulles and globalist bankers)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Hmmm..The Magic Theatre..Steppenwolf novel by Herman HesseJuly 30, 2013 - 9:02 am

    From Amazon reviews..In truth, Hesse's intention was to paint the picture of Steppenwolf's (or Harry Haller's) state of mind. To portray this personality, Hesse resorted to Jungian psychology, particularly the principals of `ego', `animus/anima' and `self'. Harry Haller is his `ego'. Hermine is his `anima' (animus in women). Pablo and Maria are his `self'. Harry Haller (whose initials H.H. are the same as Hermann Hesse's), however, is unable to integrate the opposite and multiple pieces in his psychological make up. Unity of the personality is attainable by emulating the immortals' (Mozart, Goethe, Nietzsche, Novalis) sense of humour or adaptability whenever confronted with rigid conformity and resistance to change.....Poster's note...I have not read this one,,,will have to put it on my reading list. .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Peace and patience: Quilters gear up for show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1Comments are off for this post

School bands compete in Pageantry on Parade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Calling someone a ‘smoker’ is hilarious

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Conservancy plans next Quail Ridge Reserve walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Police seek suspect in armed robbery

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

4-H Presentation Day brings fun, education to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

By Christine Macgenn | From Page: C4

 
What you eat can affect your medications

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

CAASC 18th Annual Chinese New Year and Scholarship Celebration

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Rollover in Suisun City

By Aaron Rosenblatt | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

State schedules ramp closure at freeway project site

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Appointments on tap for Board of Supervisors meet

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Tri-City NAACP honors community members at gala event

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
NY, SF town house prices through the roof

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Force draws many from South, middle class

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Christie to Calif. Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US missionary abducted in Nigeria is courageous, friends say

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dress that ‘greatly resembles’ stolen Nyong’o gown found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Churches, synagogues, mosques bear tough New England winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hyundai recalls 263,000 cars due to power-steering problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Details about proposed national monuments in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
National monument supporters in California get antsy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Attacks kill 37 people in and north of Iraq’s capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

US drone strike in Yemen kills 3 suspected al-Qaida fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nemtsov a possible ‘sacrificial victim,’ investigators say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
New school funding plan remains on bumpy path

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Even Gruber deserves a break sometimes

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
I might just vote for a Democrat next time around

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

Aging Fairfield housing agency faltering

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

With numbers falling, Houston-area nuns’ future uncertain

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Take a look – Dr. Seuss has a new book

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Publisher launches line of Warhol e-books

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Q&A: Opera star Deborah Voigt writes of turbulent life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ has realistic plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Vikings girls looking for first section title

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local Report: Vaca’s Aquino wins Masters wrestling title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Phegley hopes his style will catch on in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A year after meeting Tiger, Indian golfer on the rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Jeff Gordon takes a final spin at track that meant so much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Players’ union head: future spring games in Cuba possible

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harrington takes 36-hole lead, then more rain in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Defending champ Federer beats Djokovic to retain Dubai title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Safarova beats Azarenka to win the Qatar Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Environmental activists disrupt meeting by Olympic officials

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamilton hones Mercedes with fastest time at F1 testing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors center Festus Ezeli suspended for a game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reichelt leads Austrian World Cup downhill sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta for 3rd year in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in suburban Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Nevada casinos keep $953.7 million in winnings in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Historic snows causing headaches for real estate industry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9Comments are off for this post

 
Recalls this week: hand trucks, ceiling fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Greek prime minister rules out third bailout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Exclusive: Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Virgil Albert Hanson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Thomas Browning

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Leah E. Hoffman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John W. Van Wart

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics