Saturday, July 05, 2014

Writing Lessons from Shakespeare: Spirit Plot Guide

We have reached the hot days of summer in Texas. I've been trekking off and on to Shakespeare at Winedale for over 30 years. You might be surprised to find that every time I write a book I think about the Bard's plays long and hard. I lean toward his comedies. I think about the plots. I read passages. I watch and read the plays. It helps me find my novel. It's a thing for me.

Currently I'm thinking about the next book I'm going to write. Long before I write a book, I spend time thinking about it. Often times a Shakespearean play pokes at me, and that is true right now. The play that is in my head is Much Ado About Nothing. I'm turning its plot over and over.  This play is serving as the spirit plot guide for my new book.

These are the kinds of thoughts I have as my spirit plot guide leads me: I love the the Benedick/Beatrice relationship. I love the idea of two characters in a "merry war", who become lovers. I love they both have strong opinions about serious relationships. I like that they are both damaged. I love that their friends conspire to bring them together. Nice. I like that Benedick is asked to defend Beatrice's cousin Hero's honor. This act reveals depth to his love. I turn the plot points of the play and I ask myself, can I use any of this. Of course, I can and will.

The spirit plot guide causes me to question the path  too.  The whole mistaking Hero for a skank whore is good, but the when she falls over pretend dead, it's just, you know, fake. I also don't like that it's Beatrice's best friend and cousin who is called a skank whore. It seems like it would be better if Beatrice would be called a skank whore falsely. That's just my feeling about it. I think that it would be cool if Benedick were Beatrice's most staunch supporter through a direct attack on her honor. I let keep letting the ideas roll around in my head.

Once I have a slew of plot points, ideas, etc. I start the translation process and will eventually write a random lists of ideas. I'll sift through these and pick the best ones. I will build a plot for my new book from there. So here I am all wrapped up in a play from 1623 -- a well-worn path is influencing a new one. I hope that you seek spirit plot guides for your work. I believe your work will thank me.

More lessons from Shakespeare next week.

Here is the doodle for the week: Birds.



A quote for your pocket:  

....for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.William Shakespeare. 

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Now PLUMB CRAZY news: I have an interview on KBTX Brazos Valley Magazine that you may wish to check out. I chat with host Sharon Colson about digital pubbing and Plumb Crazy. July 5 (6PM) & 6(5PM). http://ow.ly/yfk8c.

There is also the ebook giveaway that is still running for a couple of more days: Go here. 

The ebook version of PLUMB CRAZY from Swoon Romance but will be out as paperback soon. I ask you to consider supporting my work -- buy a copy, share the news, request the book at your library, ask me to blog for you. I'm open. Thank you.

 To buy a copy: Here for a copy from Amazon US. Here is Amazon UK. Here is Amazon AustraliaHere is Amazon Canada. Try here for a copy for your B&N Nook .

Also consider participating in my upcoming book tour. Here is the link. 


4 comments:

Barbara Etlin said...

Right on! I'm doing the same thing with my work-in-progress--using the basic plot structure from a Shakepearean play to help structure my plot.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Barbara, Thanks for dropping by the blog! Nice to know I'm in good company. :)

Vijaya said...

Molly, you're learning from the BEST!!! I need to pull out my Charles Lamb book. I find Shakespeare difficult to read but I love it when I can see them.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Vijaya, I do think that Shakespeare is some great company, but I stare at the plots of many authors for various works: Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Homer, Sophocles... I really like looking at paths that call to me.