In his guest article for Jane Friedman’s blog, our very own Harrison Demchick explains that so many resources you’ll find on writing plot focus on genre fiction and thrillers, which can be confusing if you’re writing a quieter story like with literary fiction. Causation is fundamental in character-driven literary fiction too, but it doesn’t look the same. It’s subtler. It’s quieter. So how do the mechanics of plot relate to plotting literary fiction? Harrison discusses the principle of causation and how it may just be the key to crafting a great character-driven story in the article, which you can read here.
Most well-written thrillers are going to have a character arc. Understanding that is important in understanding as well how causation drives the character. In most commercial fiction, happenstance is the opposite of causation, reflecting plot beats that occur not due to preceding events but by the whim of the author. Harrison discusses how you can establish the principles of causation and narrative structure in a story in which events are revealed to the reader out of order.
Many thanks to Jane Friedman for hosting Harrison’s guest post. Jane has a special interest in how the digital age is transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling. She believes that rather than taking a dark view of how the Internet era has affected writers’ livelihoods, she is more interested in how revolutionary change can inspire new business models, and how authorship will ultimately evolve. Check out her website for lots of useful content.