Steps to a Story: Action!

If you’ve read Burden, you know that it starts with a funeral.  This was a great way to introduce the world and the main characters, and to hint at the beginning of the plot.  There’s a lot of description, but there is also action.  This was something I had to consider with Matthew’s story.

Matthew’s story needs action, but it also needs a big overarching plot.  The things I know happen in the story are not the plot.  His troop is heading north to deal with bandits: great set-up, but not so much a plot in and of itself.  There is some type of bandit ambush and heroics ensue: very exciting, clearly important, but more of a pivotal incident than a complete plot.  We meet a lovely farm girl: romantic interest, very nice, possible challenges to be posed, but not a plot.  The general consensus?  This story needs a plot!

I figured out the active ending to the first section, the piece that carries the story past the early introductions and descriptions, while I was writing it.  That was the first challenge.  I’ve also found an important piece that lends itself nicely to a plot: a clever, troublemaking antagonist.  Here we go, something big and overarching that can lend itself well to the pieces that we know.

Give me a good bad guy to catch, and now we’re talking plot!