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Friday, 23 May 2014

Maureen Green on the Structure of Revenge Plots.

Master Plot, Revenge


A revenge plot which has as much power today as it had thousands of years ago consists of three phases:

                                                The crime - the first dramatic phase.

            The hero, faced with an injustice, is unable to defend himself.


            The hero makes plan to extract revenge. Several people must pay for the injustice dispensed during the hero's youth. Revenge deals with pursuit as well as preparation for revenge.


`           His motivation single minded, the hero confronts his enemies. This the moment of triumph for the protagonist.

In Consequences, my first adult novel, the plot is loud and clear. This work, a typical revenge plot in which we bristle against injustice, has its retaliation outside the limits of the law. The work published by Literary Road is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. Below is an excerpt from Consequences, the work's prologue.


One minute Donald Bracken was riding along on his way home from swimming humming his favourite tune and the next his bike was pulled from under him spilling him onto the asphalt.  “Jesus. What? What the hell?”

The town bullies moved from the shadows and surrounded him cornering him in the deserted school grounds.

A shudder starting at the top of his head rippled down to the tip of his toes when he saw the menacing look on their faces. His body wracked with terror he began panting and heeling his way across the asphalt until his progress was impeded by a picket of legs. Sweat pilled on his brow. His heart beat a zany tattoo in time to the music wafting up the hill from the valley below. Ears straining, he listened for sounds that would signal help was at hand, but heard nothing other than the excited wheezing of the group surrounding him.

The leader of the pack, the one with the most patches on his silken jacket, was a tall gangly pock marked boy older than the other five.  The fat one, the bully most feared in the neighbourhood, kicked him in the ribs. “Gottcha,” he sneered as he spat a gooby into his face.

“Teach ya to kill my grandma’s dog,” hissed the leader as he grabbed Donald by the collar and slammed him against the school building and pinned him there.

“I didn’t.” Donald protested as he squirmed like a worm on a hook in an effort to free himself, “A car hit him.”[…]

The fat one pushed Donald’s head down to the ground and held it there with his shoe perched on his neck as if he were propping his foot on a desk. Through the slits his eyes had become a shadow moved towards Donald and grabbed his hair and lifting his head to within a hair’s breadth of its face, said, “Did you say something, dickhead?” The bullies laughed. 

The lookout posted outside the school grounds hooted like an owl and called in his tinny fluting voice. “Someone’s coming, someone coming.”

“We’re out of here,” said the fat one. “Come on.”

Five of them ran, but the sixth, the leader of the gang leaned over Donald brandishing a switch knife and whispered, “Talk and I’ll kill you, you creepy piss pants.”

Donald’s steel grey eyes narrowed. “Kill me,” he whispered as the leader moved off. He did not move. He did not move for a long time as he lay gasping, hugging his battered body and thinking about revenge. He had to find a way to get back at them. They were always picking on him. Bullied him every day and now they had beaten him up and smashed his bike. Tomorrow he would have to deliver the papers on foot.[…]

“Had the shit beaten out of me because of a bloody yappy dog,” he muttered as he picked himself up from the ground where he had lain catching his breath. Filled with a burning hate he shouted into the still air. “I’ll kill those bastards.”
Killing them he knew would be a difficult assignment but succeeding would be an accomplishment. It would take much practice if he was to succeed, but he would be patient. It takes time to learn to kill, just like learning a musical instrument he thought, but I can wait until I’ve honed my skills.


Excerpts from Consquences by Maureen Green.


On a less threatening note, here’s a link to an excellent article by Beth Bacon on writing a great book blurb. It’s one of the hardest things for most authors, and the MOST important to get right if you want to attract readers. You can find the full article here -

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