Perpetual Plot Problems?

(The subhead here should be: Perceive! A Non-Political Post!)

In a little less than a month, I'm going to be appearing at the Illinois SCBWI's Prairie Writer's Day, with the esteemed Martha Mihalick of Greenwillow, Caroline Meckler of Wendy Lamb/Random, and the agent Michelle Andelman. Each one of us will be speaking on a different aspect of the writers' craft, and I drew the Plot straw.

Well. On the one hand, I am thrilled by this, because if there's one aspect of craft I've thought and written a lot about, it's Plot, and so I don't have to go through the agonies (or enjoy the discoveries) that I would with Voice (the one major aspect of writing I've never done a talk on). In other words: Yay for getting to be lazy! On the other hand, there's a good chance that some of the people at the conference will have read that link or my other musings on plot, and I don't want to bore them. (Hello, people I will meet in future!)

So I ask you people who have read my plot talks: What questions do you still have about plot? What do you struggle with in your own plots? What are those talks lacking? Where should I go from here on this subject? Your advice would be very much appreciated.

One thing I am already thinking about: the narrative weight of individual events in a plot, which often comes down to two terms my authors will be familiar with: narration vs. dramatization. Narration is "Lisa and Alexandra had a fight." Dramatization is "Lisa punched Alexandra, who staggered backwards into a tall stack of boxes, which dominoed to the ground behind her. Alexandra got her feet back underneath her and barreled toward Lisa . . ." etc., etc. All of the major events of a plot -- the Inciting Incident, the events that heighten a Conflict, the discovery of the clues to the Mystery, the introduction of people/things and the incidents with those people/things that slowly fulfill a Lack*, the Climax -- should be dramatized, not narrated; and those events must involve your protagonist acting, not other people. (That is, your protagonist should be the one discovering the Clues and so forth.) But I do not know that I have a great deal more to say on it than that.**

* I invented the Lack plot category because I was testing my plot theories against each of Jane Austen's novels, and Persuasion didn't fit into either the Conflict or Mystery mold. And Persuasion is a perfect example of dramatization vs. narration: Anne's first re-encounter with Captain Wentworth is fully dramatized, and each major incident that shows him slowly reconsidering her or warming toward her likewise, interspersed with narration like "From this time Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot were repeatedly in the same circle. . . . [And] this was but the beginning of other dinings and other meetings." And it's because we see all those important events so fully (dramatization), still with a sense of the life continuing around them (narration), that Persuasion is so satisfying. Glory, I want to reread it now . . .

** Clearly, I am a liar.