Plot and Kevin Bacon

Hey all! Today, I’m welcoming Elizabeth Seckman to my blog. She’s going to tell us what Kevin Bacon taught her about plotting.

Take it away, Elizabeth. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for having me over Misha! I feel a little like a kindergartener coming to the high school to share knowledge, but I will try to sound like I know what I’m talking about.

The most critical part of a good tale is the plot. The plot is the bones everything else in the story hangs on. No bones, no book.

And everything I learned about plotting, I got from Kevin Bacon.

Applaud me, Kevin. I am brilliant.

Yes, Kevin Bacon, the actor.

Ever heard ofย  the game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

Here’s the game, in a nutshell: Link any actor to Kevin Bacon within six connections.

Okay, so here is how it works. Let’s take Madonna. How is she connected to Kevin Bacon? She was married to Sean Penn, who starred with Kevin in Mystic River. So, that’s a quick two degree separation. And the legend is you can link almost anyone in Hollywood to Kevin within six degrees.

Yeah, yeah…fun little party game, but what’s it got to do with plotting?

I say plots MUST also be that tight. Let’s pretend the plot is Kevin Bacon. Everything that happens in that story must, within six degrees, have something to do with the main plot. No tangents. No meandering. No superfluous characters to bog down the reader’s memory. Every conversation and every action move the story along.

For example: let’s say it’s a romance. A single dad and his son. Dad needs a love interest. Now, pick the kid’s sub plot…let’s say he’s learning disabled. Voila! Dad dates the teacher. Need some more conflict? Bring on dad’s ex-wife. Now you have an antagonist who is bringing back story. See? Subplots + Plot are connected.

Keep it tight. Keep it moving.ย  Kevin will applaud you too.

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.ย ย Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find
love.ย Heโ€™s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. Sheโ€™s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dreamโ€ฆto write stories people want to read.

photo credit: titi- via photopin cc

36 thoughts on “Plot and Kevin Bacon

  1. Great post, Elizabeth. But sometimes connecting plot and subplot is easier said than done. I love the idea of six degrees of separation though. I love your book blurb too. If it's fairly PG-13 you can come do a guest post on my blog sometime.

  2. Great game, Elizabeth. I agree – the plot should be very tight regarding its human connections. No random figures; everyone is connected in some way. I'll definitely use the game for my future novels.

  3. My first thoughts on it were spider webs, all woven together…but then I was doing the Kevin Bacon game with friends and got the little epiphany for my brain…I have a simple minded brain…it likes easy.

  4. I am HORRIBLE at the game too Medeia!! I am a pop culture fail anymore. If it didn't happen prior to 1988, I probably haven't heard about it!

    But you are totally right…you most definitely have a brain for writing!

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