We all tackle plotting differently. How you plot will be individual to you, as it is with every writer.
Below is an outline of what can go into a plot. How much you choose to develop each point is entirely up to you.
So some basic questions to ask are…
1. Briefly what your story is about
2. The theme?
3. Main Characters
a. For main characters, it’s best to write a full biography of them.
4. Secondary Characters
a. Who are they?
b. What will their role be?
c. What is their relationship with main character?
5. Beginning of the story
a. Viewpoint – who will be telling the story?
b. Setting – where will the story take place?
c. How will you introduce main character?
d. How will you introduce other characters?
e. How will the story begin?
f. What will happen in the beginning?
g. What is the conflict?
h. What is the character’s goal?
i. How will the conflict prevent the character from reaching his goal?
j. What’s motivating the character?
6. Middle of the story
a. What will happen in the beginning section, of the middle of your story?
b. How will this be tied to the beginning of your story?
c. What will happen in the middle section, of the middle of your story?
d. What will happen in the end section, of the middle of your story?
e. What events are going to occur?
f. How will you show your character’s personality?
g. What problems are you going to introduce? (List each problem and how the character solves it)
h. How are you going to make things harder for your character?
i. What will happen in the climax?
7. End of the story
a. Will the character achieve his goal?
b. How will he or won’t he achieve it?
c. What’s going to happen in the end?
d. How are you going to end your story?
Or if you prefer you can plot in scenes…
First, figure out how many scenes your story will contain. Then plot each scene.
b) Introduce characters
c) Introduce conflict
d) Introduce goals
e) What will happen in the first scene?
f) How will your first scene develop the character and the story?
a) Introduce first problem
b) What does the character feel about this? What does he think?
c) Have the character solve the problem
d) Begin making things harder for him
e) How will the second scene develop the character and the story?
a) Throw another obstacle in your character’s path
b) Have him solve it
c) How will the third scene develop the character and the story?
How you plot doesn’t matter. The most important thing is To plot.
© Nick Vernon
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