Saturday, June 30, 2012

Building Your Plot: Conclusion

This was supposed to be Friday's post, but little things like physical therapy, errands, and going out to lunch with my husband got in the way. When we finally returned home, our Corgi needed his walk. Badly. Or so he thought, and he was determined that we should know that. Even enticements like playing ball couldn't convince him otherwise, so another hour was gone! After that, I gave up and read my email, then curled up in my rocker with my Kindle and a new YA book I'm reading. More about that another time.

I've talked about Gabriela's problems, A and B, and the complications and twists with each. Let's go on to Problem C:

PROBLEM C: Gabriela's supernatural powers become stronger, and she's not sure she can deal with it. She learns she can intuit certain things about individuals simply by touching something that belongs to them. Remi keeps popping up out of nowhere, and finally she learns he is not all human. She feels her powers are going to control her, not the other way around, and she seeks advice from two of the "Freaks."

1)  The Sheriff has become her number one suspect in the children's murders, but she discovers that she cannot use her abilities against him: somehow she is blocked from his mind.

2)  Remi asks for her help: his human side is attracted to her, but he needs to be released from his gargoyle form. If she tries to help him, how much will that detract from her finding the killer?

3)  Remi insists upon helping her get information from the townspeople about the murders. But why is it that each time he offers his help, someone in the carnival gets hurt... or dies?

4)  Mr. Rutherford's attentions to Gabriela become even more insistent: he seems to be everywhere Gabriela is, and insists on helping her gather information about the murders that will lead to capturing the killer. But is it the right information, and what is his real intention towards her?


Gabriela discovers one of her powers is limited by certain elements, and these elements exhibit themselves at exactly the wrong time. What kind of danger does that put her in?

PROBLEM D:  Gabriela finds herself almost surrounded by Kathryn, her new friend ( supposedly) from school, Remi, and Mr. Rutherford. All three seem to be at odds with one another, and Gabriela doesn't know whom to believe or whom to trust or what leads to follow that each of them present to her. Are they real leads what might lead to solving this crime, or are they nothing more than Red Herrings? She feels she is being followed, but no one is around. She feels eyes upon her, and whispers between 2 or more 'beings,' but there is never anyone... human... there. She hears the fluttering of wings... very large wings... but no bird... or whatever... is visible.


1)  Sheriff McCray confronts Gabriela and demands to know what she is doing and why. He is angry but doesn't appear threatening. If he is the killer, what does that mean?

2)  The parents of the slain children meet with her, but plead for her to go away and leave things as they are. Why don't they want the killer of their children caught and punished?

3)  The townspeople hold a Town Meeting and demand that the carnival leave immediately, regardless of the fact that their vehicles are still disabled... and why is that? Is the entire town held in the grasp of someone... or something... evil?

4)  The one who is the Shape Shifter meets with the gargoyles. When Gabriela accidentally discovers who the Shape Shifter is, will this put her in danger that her powers cannot get her out of?


Gabriela learns that Sheriff McCray is not the murderer, nor is he the person who attacked and cut her face when she was ten years old. She discovers who the real murderer is, but he...or neither human, witch, nor gargoyle. Will her powers be sufficient to overcome this being and save her, the carnival, and the town?

And that is the end! At least, of this novel, the first in a trilogy about Gabriela and the carnival. Beneath the Possum Belly: Night Cries is the name of this novel, the 2nd in the series is Beneath the Possum Belly: Night Sounds, and the third is Beneath the Possum Belly: Night Spells.

Building the plot in this way has been a great help to me, the original I HATE OUTLINES writer, and I hope that it has at least given you some new ideas about how to build your plot, or how to outline your story.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.


  1. I love outlining my manuscripts, even though they seldom go the way I plan them. The characters are so much better coming up with their own twists. Still, I have to know which ones I *think* will occur before hand.

    1. An outline at least gives you an idea of what you want out of your story, and where you want your characters to go. As I said earlier, this method above is probably nothing more than a "fancy" way of saying "outline," but the latter word and I don't agree at all, so this one works better for me! At the same time, my characters still don't always do what I want them to do, and they also come up with their own twists and turns...sometimes I wonder just who is writing this story, me or them!