Premise and plot. They're both essential to every story, but they're not the same thing. I've had books where I loved the premise, but didn't love the plot. I saw a TV commercial for the movie Ted that showed the premise, but not the plot, and started thinking about the difference.
This is the basic idea. For example, the premise of Harry Potter is a boy attending a school that teaches wizardry. The premise of Twilight is a girl meeting a family of vampires. It's the foundation that the plot of which book and the overarcing plot of the series is based on.
This is the arc that drives the story. It's the escalating conflict and has an obvious beginning, middle, and end. Going back to the Harry Potter example, this would be Harry's fight against Voldemort across the series. In the Twilight example, the plot would be the girl falling in love with the vampire and wanting to become one herself.
That was the best weekend I've had in a long, long time. But now it's over and today is Monday...
For my English class, I had to write an essay on lessons that can be learned from Christopher Columbus' life. One of the lessons I addressed was:
Don't let rejection stop you.
When Columbus conceived the idea to find a trading route by sailing west from Europe to Asia, he needed funding. So he went first to the king of Portugal, King John II. The king listened to Columbus' proposal and passed it on to a committee. They denied his request, citing that it was too expensive, Columbus was wrong in his estimates on the distances and measurements, and that his plan conflicted with Portugal's desire for a trade route that went around Africa.
Columbus could've given up there. But instead he picked up his young son and moved to Spain. There, the Spanish monarchs were too preoccupied with a war against the Moors to really listen to his proposal. Queen Isabella was fascinate…
Multiple points of view are tricky things. Done well, they can be a very powerful tool. Done badly, they can break a book. Making the decision to have multiple points of view is mostly a personal one, but there are a few things to remember before making the jump.
If you're going to go for more than one point of view, you should have a good reason for it. The book needs to be better with more than one PoV than it would be if you just stayed in one character's head. One question to ask yourself when trying to decide would be, "Would this be better off in third person, showing all the characters' thoughts?" Each character should also have a distinct voice. There's nothing more jarring then having to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see who's point of view you're in.
With multiple points of view, you can run the risk of the reader loving one point of view and hating another, and therefore wanting to skip over the chapters of a particular charac…