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A Book Without A Plot Is Like...

books need a plot

A book without a plot is like a body without a spine, a big mess. Lately, I've been encountering more and more books that are ambling long, mostly in the character's head, and have NO direction NO plot, and NO momentum.

When I mention this to the author they are quick to say they mean to do that. Wait, come again? These are writers who are hoping to have their books published yet they bush off the fact that their book has no plot and then wonder why they can't find a publisher to pick it up. They say things like it's boring to have a plot, who needs traditional structure, how boring, boring boring,... Well, fiction without a plot is FUCKING BORING. And before you can deconstruct the novel you have to be able to write one first. It sounds conceited and snobbish to assume you're so good you can create a 'story' with boring characters and no real storyline and expect people to hail it a genius and enjoy reading it. This is just another example of modern Prozac Fiction.

Prozac Fiction is a term we came up with to describe meandering, self-indulgent, books that just can't be bothered. We also use it to describe modern movies and music that are flat or sometimes described as 'slow burn' ...seriously?!? Why is everything a 'slow burn' ?!?! When you pick up a detective murder mystery/ crime thrill who the hell wants an ambling slow burn with depressed, apathetic characters with no direction where nothing happens? Everyone and their art is overmedicated these days.

Back on point, so why does fiction need a plot? I can't believe I even have to go into this.

ship without a compass

A book without a plot is like a ship without a compass—it may wander aimlessly, but it won't reach any meaningful destination. A plot serves as the backbone of a story, providing structure, purpose, and direction. Without it, readers are left adrift in a sea of words, struggling to find meaning and coherence.

At its core, a plot is the sequence of events that drive the narrative forward. It encompasses the central conflict, character motivations, and the series of actions and reactions that unfold as the story progresses. Without these elements, a book risks becoming a meandering collection of scenes without any real significance.

One of the primary functions of a plot is to engage the reader's interest and hold their attention. A well-crafted plot creates tension, suspense, and anticipation, keeping readers eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens next. Whether it's a gripping thriller or a heartwarming romance, a compelling plot is essential for drawing readers into the world of the story and keeping them invested in its outcome.

Moreover, a plot provides a sense of purpose and direction to the story. It gives the characters goals to strive for, obstacles to overcome, and a sense of progression as they navigate through the challenges they encounter. Without a plot to guide them, characters risk becoming stagnant, lacking the motivation and agency to drive the story forward.

A plot allows for the exploration of themes and ideas within the context of the narrative. Through the events that unfold, a book can delve into complex issues, provoke thought, and spark meaningful discussions. Whether it's a reflection on the human condition, a critique of society, or an exploration of morality, a well-developed plot provides the framework for exploring these deeper layers of meaning.

A plot provides a sense of resolution and closure to the story. As the narrative arc reaches its climax and the loose ends are tied up, readers experience a satisfying sense of completion. Whether it's a happy ending, a tragic conclusion, or something in between, the resolution of the plot gives readers a sense of fulfillment and closure, leaving them with a lasting impression long after they've finished the book.

 Without a plot, a book would lack coherence, meaning, and impact, leaving readers adrift in a sea of words. So next time you decide to write a book, make sure to include a plot. Otherwise, what's the point? Odds are there isn't one.


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