Plotting Responsibilities

Just when you thought all you had to do with plot was open with a hook, figure out the character motivation, throw some logic into the mix, remember that actions have consequences, and send your protagonist hurtling toward a dynamic, exciting climax …

there’s more!

What’s required of any plot in commercial fiction (if you want to be successful and/or garner readers on a consistent basis):

*An opening with trouble for the protagonist

*Trouble that escalates in the first three chapters

*An exciting event in the middle of the book that’s either a shocking plot twist or a major confrontation between the hero and villain

*A doozy of a climax

This small list ensures that you offer at least four high points in a long story. Each one should meet and exceed reader expectation.

One more thing … keep in mind that each turning point needs to be topped by the next one, and the next, all the way to the finale.

If you lead with your most exciting event, your plot will lose steam quickly.


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2 responses to “Plotting Responsibilities

  1. This is such a simple and well put way to say this. True to the core of any good story I think. Without the rising action, a story falls apart. Without a climax, the reader is left fealing cheated. And without a great denouement, a story leaves the reader wondering, just what the h***was the point of all that?
    And none of those are ever good…ever.

  2. Pat

    Nothing much to it then.
    Screen writers have this sussed. Highs and lows, peaks and troughs built in almost to the minute.

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