What Makes a Good Plot? Will A Good Plot Help Make Money?

Writers, and we all are writers, talk about this thing called “plot” but, the thing I think that we don’t like to think about is what makes a good plot— and what doesn’t.  Plot is the getting from point A to point B, without boring the reader.  After all, you bore your reader with a bad or predictable plot, then this isn’t good.

I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and I was struck at the plot ideas she had.  This is a simple plot, granted, but the point that stuck me was that there was the main plot, which I never lost sight of, and the inner plots, which didn’t come to light until later in the series (when most were kicking themselves for NOT seeing it.)

The mark of a good writer is to make your reader believe in something, and not only to believe in it, but to want to know more.  It also means that you can read a book in the series and let it stand alone.  In other words if this Harry Potter book had been the only one published, I think I would have been satisfied with the ending of the book. 

Mind you not happy to have it end that way, but happy enough that it didn’t leave me with more questions about the plot. ( This is also of note when you self-publish!)  The same holds true with every book you plan to write and want to make money on.

Unlike a blog, a book, with a great plot, needs to leave the readers with some sort of closure.  That is the mark of a good plot and a good writer.

One Comment

  • Damaria Senne

    Weirdly, I hadn't given enough thought to what makes a good plot. I've known it when I've seen it in a good book, I've even hoped that my own stories have it. But I haven't ever tried to quantify it. Your post is food for thought:-)