Monday, 29 October 2012

Seven Deadly Sins or The Ten Commandments.

These are the ladies of Closeburn Guild who kindly invited me to speak at one of their meetings and tell them how I write my books and where I get my plots and characters.
    Most writers agree that there are seven main plots, although there are many variations on each one. Since the guild is connected to the Church I decided to slant my talk towards the bible where  examples of every kind of story can be found.    
      Whether or not people follow a religion most try to live a decent life and avoid the faults depicted in the ten commandments such as adultery, jealousy, obsession with certain objects or cravings for things we cannot have, deception or lies, murder and idleness. 
      As writers we can give our characters whatever traits we wish, and for good ones we emphasise the likable traits  and often have a nasty character as a foil. The plots of many novels are often based around such things as adultery, jealousy, deception or maybe murder if it is a crime story. Good characters may have some faults to make them believable and human and arouse the reader's support.
     Going back to the bible we could not choose anything more wicked than King Herod ordering the killing of all the baby boys, or the crowd watching a man hang on a cross until he dies. On the other hand we have the story of the small or weaker character overcoming the bigger, more powerfulul one with David and Goliath. There are too many illustrations in the bible to recount them all here but storytelling is as old as time and even the most modern novel will have a new twist or variation on an old theme.
      I enjoyed my visit to the friendly group of ladies and my journey home across country on the narrow winding roads via Loch Ettrick. The countryside is truly beautiful at this time of year. I am sorry I did not manage to get a better photograph of the the bronze and gold filigree of the larch trees.They make a lovely contrast with the dark green of the pines and spruce.         


  1. Lovely scenery, Gwen - I left a comment on Novel Points of View. Sounds a great meeting!

  2. Thank you Rosemary. It was one of those rare lovely days this year so doubly appreciated.

  3. Hi Gwen - congratulations on your new signing with Accent Press. The meeting sounded like fun - what a treat for the ladies of Closeburn!

    Janice xx

  4. I'm not sure whether it was a treat or not Janice but they had plenty of laughter and they were very friendly. A pleasant atmosphere makes all the difference. Many of them get the mobile library.