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Friday, November 22, 2013

Plotting Tips

This is a compilation of the best plotting tips I can find out there on the web. 

This is the idea that you start with something simple: a one-sentence description of your book. Then you expand on it: a single paragraph describing your story. Then you pull apart each one of those sentences and turn them into their own paragraphs, and so on and so forth. 
Expound on each point, and then expound on those - a snowflake

This is most often attributed to Dan Wells and is the idea that every story really only needs seven things: A hook, two plot turns, two "pinches", a midpoint, and a resolution. This one is particularly useful if you write character-driven stories, as the hook and the resolution are mirror-images of each other, and that's much easier to do with a character arc than with an actual physical story. 

His whole powerpoint for this presentation is looooooong, but some of the summarizing blog posts are easier to get through, and his video presentation of it is excellent. 

This is the basic, classic method of plotting a novel. Three acts, one main arc of the story. 

This follows the "Happily Ever After" format and pacing that makes Hollywood movies so successful. This is particularly useful with middle grade and young adult fiction, which both tend to be a little shorter and faster-paced (thus lining up with a movie format nicely). 

If none of those work for you, Chuck Wendig (if you aren't reading his blog on a regular basis, you need to) wrote an excellent post on twenty-five plotting methods. 

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