I’ve been researching my craft and trying really hard to nail this whole plotting thing. As a pantser and a perfectionist I really struggle getting from my first draft to my final one and I still feel that a lot is lacking. My goal is to be able to write a rough skeleton where I know what I need to include as well as how my story will begin, what’s going to happen in that area in the middle and how it will end. In an effort to do that as quickly as possible I’ve turned to the well loved Hallmark channel. I’ve done some couch time and I’ve outlined some plots as I saw them. If you need some inspiration or help with identifying plot elements (or want to correct mine!) please read on.
The first movie I’m going to deconstruct is “Love on a Limb.”
Beginning: Amy finds out the big old tree will be cut down.
First Twist: She asks her fellow townies to come to a meeting at the city hall to protest and NO ONE shows up.
Middle: (We had three main plots in this part)
Save the Tree:
She ties herself to the tree to prevent it from being cut down.
She tries to declare the tree a historical landmark (fails, it will take too long)
She researches moving the tree. (Failure again – it’s too big and it most likely won’t survive)
She asks her fellow town members (after approaching them with questions about their experiences with the tree vs telling them they NEED to be concerned) to bombard the mayor with phone calls and emails in order to get him to pay attention (this causes a delay in the tree cutting)
Zee’s Foreclosure (Sub-plot)
Zee (Amy’s mom) has no job since her husband died of a heart attack a couple years ago. If she doesn’t figure something out soon she will lose her home.
(Foreshadowed the job in the very beginning when the mayor’s assistant asks Amy to keep an eye out for someone who could step in for her)
Building the Romance between Kyle & Amy
-he builds her a handrail to keep her safe
-gives her a romantic moonlit picnic
-gives her a ride when she needs one
-puts himself in the tree when she cannot be there jeopardizing his job
Dynamic: Enemies to Lovers
Last Twist (four parts)
Crisis – Mayor won’t listen to her new plan and is determined to cut down the tree.
Regroup – Amy rallies the town and the media.
Climax – Amy makes her big speech about how she wants to make the pipes, the root (haha, root! get it?) of the problem, into an art display, putting them above ground around the town square so they won’t interfere with the tree. She collects pledges from the town to help personally fund the project.
Denouement – We see the Fall Harvest Festival in full swing. We see the pipes as a colorful art display behind the tree. We see Kyle & Amy and Zee & The Sheriff (another romantic subplot) as happy and together.
And there you have it. One thing I really found delightful was that the movie started out with Leona, Amy’s coworker and friend, trying to come up with a slogan for the town’s new website and it ended with the slogan being prominently displayed. This was another tiny subplot that ran throughout the movie with tiny interruptions of “How about these slogans?” : “Well, you’re getting closer! Keep trying!”
What did you think of my plot deconstruction? Did I nail it? Did I get something wrong?
If you found this helpful and want more plot deconstructions please like this, share it, or leave a comment below!