With every great story comes every great plot device. Your main character will always aim to get something or someone. Obtaining this person, object, or idea will almost always lead to a more complex plot. The plot of the story your brain has been nagging you to tell.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, revisiting your old work will benefit you. Other than making you cringe and help you realize how grateful you are that you’ve been able to better your writing, revisiting old work can help you discover other ways to strengthen your method of storytelling. Specifically, utilizing your plot device.

Ask yourself this: is my plot device obvious enough? Is it strong enough to make my story worth telling? Is it so weak that even my weakest character could rip it to shreds?

Take a step back. Think about your plot device, and I mean really think about it down to its core. Know its anatomy. If you’ve introduced a plot device (or two or three) at the start of your story and never mention it again – get rid of it. I’ve had one too many scenarios during reading a book where something was introduced, seemed to be important, then never saw or heard of it again. It gets confusing and frustrating as a reader. I want to know what happened to that device! Why was it seemingly stressed  in the beginning then disappeared off the face of the fictional world? Plus, if your plot device disappears and your reader notices, you better expect a bad review. Don’t let that happen!

Remember: know its anatomy.

  • Who is it?
  • Who has it?
  • What is it?
  • What purpose does it/he/she/they serve?
  • When were they deemed important to the main character?
  • When was the item created?
  • Where are they?
  • Where is it?
  • Why is it/how is it important to the plot?

I swear, answer these questions and you are on the road to a pretty good plot device at your disposal!