5 Minute Plots for Desperate Writers-Available today!
Harken back to that restless night: it’s 3 a.m and you’re sitting hunched over the keyboard, staring blindly at a WORD document. It’s all so perfect in your head: you have your characters, your setting…now all you need is a plot. If only plots were simple, if only you just needed five minutes and half a brain cell instead of twenty years of endless thinking. WHERE IS THAT DARN YA PLOT MACHINE WHEN YOU NEED IT?!
Good news, mates. We don’t have a YA plot machine for you exactly, but coming up with the run of the mill YA plot is actually a lot easier than you’d think. Seriously. We have the proof right here—Clara and I whipped up this plot in roughly five minutes. Sure, it’s full of clichés and tropes and ridiculous drama, but ah, we did say it was a YA contemporary, did we not?
The intoxicating first line: Chloe didn’t know what love was, until she met Dallas Sullivan.
It all started when Chloe’s parents divorced. Torn away from her comfortable life in Maine, Chloe’s dad takes her with him to California, leaving Chloe’s mom back home. Chloe is distraught-she’s never had a good relationship with her dad, so how can they possibly hope to connect? Unfortunately, this subplot is never resolved because nobody really cares. The LOVE TRIANGLE is coming.
One summer day, after a fight with her dad, Chloe takes a walk around the neighborhood. Suddenly she sees him: A smoldering eyed boy playing guitar on the curb.
Since her and this boy, Dallas, are obviously soulmates, they rush into a very fast relationship involving a lot of kissing and virtually no character development for Dallas. Of course, they have a bunch of deep talks about the meaning of the universe…
…and Dallas reveals that he has a troubled home life, but still, no information is actually revealed about Dallas himself. He will forever be the mysterious boy with the guitar.
Then comes school. With Dallas at her side, Chloe can face all of those mean girls who hate her for no reason. She can even brush off the snotty Magenta Schultz—after all, with a name like that, the girl is destined to be a stripper*.
Chloe pours her enthusiasm for life into her drama class. Though she was good at virtually nothing at the book’s beginning, she now realizes that she has a Broadway-worthy voice.
Unfortunately, Dallas seems too caught up in recording his own album to notice Chloe’s new-found talent. Feeling like Dallas just doesn’t care about her, Chloe turns to the alluring Jack, a guy she meets in drama class. Jack’s a dark-haired, ridiculously hot bad-boy from Brooklyn who seems overjoyed to help Chloe’s cultivate her vocal skills. Chloe finds herself inevitably drawn to Jack, and they share a stolen kiss in the school after dark.
How they got there…nobody knows.
Somehow, Dallas knows about “The Kiss”. Maybe he has hidden cameras all over the school. Again, who knows? Angry and hurt, Dallas confronts Chloe, hoping she’ll tell him the truth. They have “the argument”:
“How could you do this to me, Chloe?!”
“You don’t care about me, Dallas! You’re just too wrapped up in yourself!”
“I’ve always cared about you, but that doesn’t give you the right to cheat on me with other men!”
“This is not about me! You’ve never really cared about me—all my interests mean nothing to you! Jack helped me discover who I am! I don’t even know anything about you, Dallas!”
“You think about him when we’re kissing, don’t you?”
“Maybe I’d rather kiss him!”
Blah. Blah. Blah. Long story short: Dallas storms away to go angrily play guitar, and Chloe flees in Jack’s arms. I think this is a good time to point out that Chloe has the Rose Tyler Complex. Yes, it’s a thing. The whole “I have the right to run away with a strange man I’ve known for a day and leave you here facing murder chargers, but how DARE you find another woman!!!”
This is basically what happened (minus the murder charges). Dallas obviously goes and finds that other woman. Her name: Miranda. Of course, this shatters Chloe’s and Jack’s happiness; happiness which had included much more kissing than there ever was with Dallas (even though Chloe was with Dallas for way longer.) There is some boring YA drama wherein Chloe manages to ruin Miranda’s life (it possibly involved a lunch tray and a bowl of day-old chili). Dallas is shocked—
How could Chloe do such a thing? Where is that nice girl who stole his heart? Dallas can’t seem to concentrate on Miranda anymore, and Miranda is so ruined socially that she starts to pull away from Dallas (her motives here are rather unclear, but that’s okay). Chloe meanwhile is starting to have doubts about Jack…he keeps disappearing, and he won’t open up about his backstory.
One day Chloe leaves her backpack at school and comes back to pick it up. There, she finds an unbelievable sight: Miranda and Jack frantically snogging next to her locker!
“JACK!” Chloe screeches. “HOW COULD YOU.”
Jack pulls away from a drooling Miranda and runs a hand through his hair. (The readers are reminded of his hotness).
“Chloe, it’s not what you think— ”
Chloe shoves past them and runs out of the school. Randomly, it’s raining outside. Chloe’s heart is cracking and her thoughts are so frenzied that she doesn’t notice the car…until it’s too late. That is, ALMOST too late. Dallas jumps in to save Chloe, and pulls her to safety. Dripping wet, they confess their love to one another.
Dallas never loved Miranda. Chloe never loved Jack—never mind all that snogging! They share a passionate kiss…
…and walk home in the rain, hand in hand. Of course, the biggest plot hole is never resolved- how on earth was Dallas there to rescue Chloe at just the right moment? But who cares?
**** Feel free to use this plot line in your next book as long the book is dedicated to the Proud & Prejudiced Book Thieves, contains a minimum of 15 references to our blog, and we get 75% of the profit. Nothing major, obviously. ****
*Thank you Bella Kirkwood and Jennie B. Jones for that lovely “Magenta the Stripper” line.
If this five-minute plot was actually transformed into a book, would you read it? Do you tend to root for the Dallas’s or for the Jack’s in YA contemporaries? If Chloe spontaneously combusted at the end of the novel, and Dallas was left sobbing in the rain, would you be cheering or wailing? Let’s chat in the comments!