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The Importance of Plots

Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow…

You can draw inspiration from a quote. It can move you, persuade you or piss you off. But it will affect you in some way. A snippet of awesome. Some quotes become more famous than the source material. Or they change from lexical usage so much so that you can hardly recognize it from the original text. Either way, quotes are great and here are some interesting ones regarding plot.

“When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.”

By Charles Baxter, Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction
Author Khaled Hosseini

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”

By Khaled Hosseini
Author J.R. Moehringer

“I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for plot, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. . . . Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It’s about words. It’s about a man dealing with life. Okay?”

By J.R. Moehringer

“But, how do you know if an ending is truly good for the characters unless you’ve traveled with them through every page?”

By Shannon Hale, Midnight in Austenland

“Character is plot, plot is character.”

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest.”

By Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Life is not a plot; it’s in the details.”

By Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts
Author George R.R Martin

“But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes.”

By George R.R. Martin
Author George R.R Martin

“There’s an old rule of theater that goes, ‘If there’s a gun on the mantel in Act I, it must go off in Act III.’ The reverse is also true.”

By Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Author Connie Willis

“I learned everything I know about plot from Dame Agatha (Christie).”

By Connie Willis, The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories
Author Connie Willis

“The principle I always go on in writing a novel is to think of the characters in terms of actors in a play. I say to myself, if a big name were playing this part, and if he found that after a strong first act he had practically nothing to do in the second act, he would walk out. Now, then, can I twist the story so as to give him plenty to do all the way through? I believe the only way a writer can keep himself up to the mark is by examining each story quite coldly before he starts writing it and asking himself it is all right as a story. I mean, once you go saying to yourself, “This is a pretty weak plot as it stands, but if I’m such a hell of a writer that my magic touch will make it okay,” you’re sunk. If they aren’t in interesting situations, characters can’t be major characters, not even if you have the rest of the troop talk their heads off about them.”

By (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)”
― P.G. Wodehouse
Author Connie Willis

“A deus ex machina will never appear in real life so you best make other arrangements.”

By Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics


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