Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writing Summaries of Novels and Short Stories

Question: How does one go about summarizing plots?

Answer/Quote: “The starting point is the ‘Masterplot,’ which combines three phrases into a one-sentence description of the story. To create a Masterplot, the writer chooses an A, B and C clause. A clauses establish the protagonist, B clauses start the action of the story, and C clauses resolve the action, For example: “A person in love (A clause), falling in love at a time when certain obligations forbid love (B clause) emerges happily from a serious entanglement (C clause.)” p. 19.

Title: “A Formula Can Cure the Plot-Sick Writer.” A review of Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by William Wallace Cook. Tin House Books, 450 pages. Hardcover or digital, $24.95. Reviewed by Martha Lundin. The Writer (February 2012), p. 19.

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