Plotting–A Point by Point Journey Through your World

One Plot Point at a Time

 

Plot and character are the two pillars of storytelling.  But, how do you make a story from two ingredients?

 

It takes a lot of thought for a story idea to reach a critical mass in your head.  Then, it has to come onto the page; you almost cannot not write it down.

 

I start with a character in a setting who has a problem.  Once I have an idea of the basic story and characters, I think ahead to the first big plot point–I imagine what will happen a few days down the road as these characters, their setting, and their problems interact.

 

For example, I have a professor type character in one of my fantasies, who is bent on solving a world-changing puzzle.  He starts off the story as stumped.  He has been stumped for years.  I want him to meet another character that has information which will point him in the right direction.  This is the first plot point, a major scene, for the story.

 

At the start, my professor is very temperamental.  He is also currently in a state of depression from not being able to solve the puzzle.  How can I get him from there to the plot point?

 

I begin writing scenes that will bring him from the depths of his depression to the meeting with this character.  First then, I introduce a clue that wakes him from his lethargic gloom with a glimmer of hope and, more importantly for such a motivated character, a path forward where he previously saw none.

 

It is from here that the story will progress, scene by scene, until we reach the plot point, where he meets the second person and must convince her to supply him the information he needs.

Likewise, each scene connects with that before and after, and once that chain is built, written, and polished, I move on to the next big plot point.  Think of it as climbing a mountain–once you have overcome the steep climb to reach the top, you look ahead to the next mountain and begin that long journey.

 

Don’t worry–It’s much harder than it looks, but it is a lot of fun.

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