Here is the plot for the novel, The Plot.
A down-on-his-luck writing teacher feels like his life has passed him by. Then, a brash student comes to him and tells him he has an idea for a novel that is SO GOOD, it cannot fail. Whoever writes this novel will have a guaranteed best-seller. The writing teacher is dubious. Naturally. But then the student tells him his idea and, lo and behold, it is actually a fabulous idea.
Years pass. The writing teacher continues on his downward trajectory. One day he’s thinking about his student and wonders why he hasn’t seen mention of his book. He does some research and discovers the student is dead. So. He thinks about it a bit, and then he steals the plot. Writes the book, and has fantastic success. He’s on Oprah. He’s wealthy. Life is good, and then he gets an e mail. I know what you’ve done.
It’s a very entertaining book, and if you’re a writing teacher, as I am, there is boundless material to chew over, but I found myself wondering–Do you think that’s true? Are there some plots that are so idiot-proof that if you just write them down you’ll have a best-seller? The funny thing is, that in this case, although I do think the plot’s compelling, I actually think it’s her writing and characterization that makes it all believable. But I might be wrong. What do you think?
Man, I wish I knew.
Just reading Lisa Cron’s Story Genius. If I come up with that irresistible plot, I’ll let you know.