Writer Trap #2, Not THAT old plot again!

Does this sound familiar?

F.B.I. agent Rocky Rockston has never forgotten Bonny Barnesworth, the woman who broke his heart. When he finds out he’s being assigned to be her personal bodyguard, he resolves to keep Bonny out of his heart…until Vance Villain vows to kill her. Will Rocky be able to keep Bonny alive and keep his heart intact?

It sounds mighty familiar to me, because I write romantic suspense novels and some of my books follow this basic formula. It hurts to say it, but most fiction is formulaic. We’ve got a romance brewing and the reader already knows things are going to work out fine and what’s more, they already know who will be together at the end of the novel. They also know a character’s life will be in danger and that character will come out of it alive, with the help of the romantic lead. No surprises there. So how do you avoid writing the same novel that has been written a zillion times before? Again, there are numerous programs and plans available online which can help in the construction of a lively plot, but here is a tiny suggestion from yours truly that has helped me from time to time.

Give everybody a secret. It may be a secret that is never revealed, by the way, but the interaction of people who have something to hide makes for a much more interesting plot. For example, let’s suppose Rocky Rockston and Vance Villain  are old friends and Vance saved Rocky from drowning after he got drunk when Bonny left him. Ah ha! A hero who secretly doesn’t believe that the villain is actually a villain? Interesting. Perhaps Bonny has a secret, too. Can you imagine what it might be? Would love to hear your ideas!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suzan Michet on January 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Bonny only left Rocky Rockston after finding out that she was not the daughter of the man who raised her, but her mother’s first husband, a notorious (and on the loose) bank robber names Eric Evil. Knowing Rocky’s goal is to be an FBI agent, and feeling that a life with her will make this impossible, she left Rocky, believing it was for his best.

    (And Vance Villian has only threated Bonny’s life to bring Eric out of the shadows !).



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