Desire Is The Cause Of All Plot: 
The Shape of Yearning in Life and Fiction


ow do you find and convey the emotional arc of a story? How is that reflected in the external arc or plot? And why is getting what they want not the best thing for our characters or our books? Using a middle-grade chapter book (Because of Winn-Dixie) and a YA novel (Stoner and Spaz) as examples, I’ll discuss plot as character choice points, and passion as the driving force behind organic, seamless fiction. Party pooper that I am, I’ll also talk about the inherently un-literary nature of happiness! 

RECOMMENDED READING: The chapter on “yearning” in From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler; Getting into Character, Seven Secrets A Novelist  Can Learn from Actors by Brandilyn Collins; Fingerpainting on the Moon by Peter Levitt; Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico; Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo; Stoner and Spaz by Ron Keortge.







© Louise Hawes 2015