Ever read a book and sat back and thought, "Wow, a lot happened in that book… but what was it about?" or have you tried to describe a book to someone and you just start telling them things that happen, because really there is no summary, there's just stuff that happens?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Especially because I'm trying to finish one of my novels this summer. It has a plot, and it has events, and I'm trying to make everything flow really well. But I had to actually sit down and construct a plot, because when I started, all I had were events and things that happened.
If you can't summarize the book in one sentence, it doesn't have a plot.
- Mr. Darcy wins Elizabeth over by showing her love in his actions.
- Saba travels to the most dangerous place in her country to rescue her brother, and ends up learning to love her little sister in the process.
- Katniss survives The Hunger Games and starts a rebellion.
- or mine, The Accidental Girlfriend: Mason accidently asks out the wrong girl over Facebook.
Edward and Bella….uh… well… uh… first they fall in love, then a vampire comes to town and tries to eat Bella, then she wants to turn into a vampire, then Edward leaves, then Bella almost dies, then Edward tries to kill himself, then Bella goes to save him, then, then, then,…. uh…
So what do you do about plotless books? Well, I am currently trying to figure that out. I have an amazing series that I love to death, and I love the characters, and I love the story, but the first book in the three-book series, Playing Agent Smith Smith, has no plot, only events and things that happen. More than Beautiful is the same way, and yet Playing Agent Smith Smith and More than Beautiful are two of the books that I've gotten people to read for me, and everyone who has read them thus far adores them. (Then again, most of them aren't writers or agents or publishers.)
Do you have this problem? Have you read books with this problem? What's your solution/advice?