Reading some great novels, most of the time I am amazed of how the writers compose the stories, make us “the reader” unconsciously involved into either the character’s mind or vicious actions the writer created. They are also succeeded in playing our emotion; we laugh and cry for things that are not even happening! Things they successfully (and can be also painfully) made up. But then when I enrolled in Melbourne’s creative writing short course, I discovered that like a magician a writer has also tricks. Once they put them into a book, people will not mind to spend their money or to queue outside the bookstore waiting for their new released book. Want to peep up what’s their hidden trick? Plot and Story are one of them.
To reveal what plot and what story is, let’s just flash back to the time we are thinking of some ideas for our own novel. When we think about some physical actions on the story, it means we have planned to bring plot into our novel. For example, I conceived some ideas for my stories; My character was being raised in a country inhabited mostly by the conservative Moslems. The Moslem’s environment had somehow blocked her knowledge of any other religions and had forced her to believe only the religion she was raised. Some terrifying events caused by people in her religion had triggered her doubts and her being skeptical about the religion she was raised. She began to raise a lot questions about her faith; particularly her religion. She then doubted her religion before came the revelation.
They contain a physical action that has the potential to move the story. So whenever you have this kind of form on your mind, you have arranged some plots for your novel. To form some plots, you can start rising a question like “what will happen next after this?” This question somehow will create plots!
But a novel without story is like a mere series of action. It doesn’t seem to have a soul, there is nothing to make the reader emotionally involved into the story of your novel. So what do you need to fulfill this lack of emotion? Story is the answer!
Contradicts with plot, story has a magical power to provide your novel with emotion. The chapter when your character is feeling tortured and when your character shed tears, there when you put story into your novel. When you combine these emotional journeys together with the physical ones, you have successfully created both the body and soul in your single novel. Let’s see how it works together and creates a vivid reliable and enchanting novel.
I borrow the example from a part of the plot’s explanation above I grabbed from my novel then I combine it with the story;
Some terrifying events caused by people in her religion had triggered her doubts and her being skeptical about the religion she was raised. She witnessed people spread hatred in the name of his only God. They screamed, “Burn the infidel! Let’s send them to hell.” The wrathful words were intended to the people who were now screaming and escaping from the mighty church that was now full of grey smoke. I was trembled as I saw a man shouting “Allahuakbar”’ before then he threw the running woman with a rock as big as a head of an infant. The reason is just unbelievable, they blamed the church’s singing ritual that had bugged their Sunday night, forgot that Adzan is cried out five times a day sometimes with broken mosque’s loudspeaker. I trembled and my head was burned with anger. With regret I saw people spread hatred under the name of my God, but nothing I could do besides stood and stared. And all my life, I have never been that ashamed.
Look at the words. Those marked with the blue ink are plots and with the read ink are stories. The plots show action while the stories show emotion. Clear enough? In conclusion the plot is the element that keeps your story moving, while the story makes the story alive. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your PC or pencil and book! Start bringing your story to life! The story and plot are just one from so many techniques in writing await to reveal. But practicing it bit by bit makes you ready to face other tough techniques. If you think that techniques are not beneficial enough for your novel, it’s your call! But remember, lessons are actually made to make things easier. So, happy learning!
Myra Mariezki Fathira. Seorang perempuan yang konsisten mengenakan baju pink diberbagai kesempatan. Lulusan Sastra Inggris UNPAD angkatan 2004 ini pernah bekerja sebagai copywriter dan jurnalis. Namun sekarang ia memutuskan keluar dari pekerjaannya untuk mengejar passion-nya sebagai penulis.