Saturday, March 12, 2011

Can a One-Day Plot Be Effective?

A while ago Jesse Young who follows this blog sent me a link to an interesting article  from, and I thought it might be of interest to you.  When we plot, most of our novels cover a span of time. Family sagas cover decades while suspense spans only in a few days. Romance usually last a few months to a year. But have you ever thought of plotting a book that lasts only one day?

What must be considered when planning a one-day plot? Obviously excitement must happen immediately, an event so significant that makes a huge difference to the character. The plot could hinge on a catastrophic event or often a timebomb-type plot, something that drives the plot forward. If the hero doesn't locate the heroine, she will be gone from his life. If the terrorist isn't stop, the bomb could end the world. Think of novels like the TV show 24.

This article titled, 11 Excellent Novels that Take Place All in One Day, suggests that authors can learn a great deal from dissecting one or more of these classics to understand the elements that make these novels grab the reader and be remembered. The titles range from a classic Ulysses by James Joyce to the novel, A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, recently made into a movie. Read the synopses of the plots to understand the elements that made these books stand out among the multitude of published books.


Martha Ramirez said...

Great post, Gail. I recently watched UNSTOPPABLE with Denzel Washington and it pretty much is about a train that won't stop in one day too. :)
And it was a great movie.

Thanks fo the post!

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Very interesting. Thanks.