Plotting: Write Story Plots Step-by-Step (Suspense Plotlines, Conflict Plot Writing, Storytelling) | Andrew Kayson | Skillshare

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Plotting: Write Story Plots Step-by-Step (Suspense Plotlines, Conflict Plot Writing, Storytelling)

teacher avatar Andrew Kayson, Creative Writing Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction - Plotting

    • 2. Chapter 1: A Basic Plot Outline

    • 3. Chapter 2: Building Your Plot

    • 4. Chapter 3: Bringing Your Plot to Life

    • 5. Chapter 4: Best Plot Building Advice

    • 6. Conclusion - Plotting

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About This Class

Your ‘Why’ for Writing, Will Also Be Their ‘Why’ for Reading

Are you struggling to take your story to the next level? Would you like to know the best ways to create intrigue and have your readers rave about your book? Plotting is a step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of developing compelling plots from beginning to end.

With tips and tricks taken straight from professional writers, the novelist will learn how to use plotlines for maximum effect, while retaining creative freedom.

Making Conflict Real

Plotting helps the author weave suspense through improved conflict-writing, centered around a developing plot. Characters are challenged, affected and emerge changed in ways that infuse emotions in your readers, so that they cannot help but be personally invested in the welfare of your protagonist.

Kayson explains in concise straightforward language and with clear examples, the benefits of knowing where you are going with your novel; where the plotline starts (exposition) to how it ends (resolution) and how working with an overview, helps to captivate readers in terms of the lessons learned and the experience of life through the eyes of your characters.

8 Steps to Conflict Resolution

This course acts as a go-to framework for all levels of writers and introduces an 8-Step Process to adding substance to your story through plotting; these include:

  • Get Inspired
  • Getting Direction
  • Turn Your Ideas into a Story
  • Create Your Story Arc
  • Start with the End

From understanding the basic principles of a plotline, to placing your characters into situations that will help you get inside their head more, Kayson demonstrates the ways to make a plot event a more profound experience for the reader, to activate emotions and keep them engaged until the end of the book.

Having a Strong “Why”

Plotting imparts pro-writing knowledge to elicit genuine resentment against the antagonist while showing the real “why” behind your characters’ actions. This aspect of plotting, captures the importance of allowing the characters to resolve their own conflicts and to keep the reader on the edge of their seats with excitement.

Creating an effective plot is not easy, however, Kayson unravels the secret formula and presents it in his own alluring way, and through the opinions of seasoned-writers he presents the methods to take your storytelling to new heights.

One Click Away from Getting Amazing Results Fast!

A must-have guide for storytellers wishing to create compelling and believable plotlines that will captivate readers and leave them desperate for more, when they reach the end of your book. Learn the art of plotting and write like a pro!

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrew Kayson

Creative Writing Teacher


Andrew Kayson is the teacher of the "Creative Writing" course series. He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Black Ltd. and writes a popular blog on Creative Writing. Kayson turned to teaching several years ago to fulfil his life dream of educating students on the topic of Creative Writing. He lives in New York City.

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1. Introduction - Plotting: Introduction, Welcome to plotting. In this guide, we're going to further explore how you can write a rich plot. Now will not only give you plenty of material to write about, but we'll also give you a depth of material that takes your story to the next level. The goal of designing a plot line is to establish a rich story that will intrigue your readers and give you as the writer, the opportunity to have maximum impact on your storytelling process. Through creating a strong and productive plot line, you give yourself the power to take your story to greater heights and leave your readers with more to take away from your story itself in terms of lessons, experience, and entertainment. Through this guide, you're going to learn more about how you can write your own plot in such a way that will help you achieve those next level results. You will learn about the basic structure of a plot line, as well as how you can build your own plot around this structure. Then you will be guided through the process of taking your plot outline and bringing it to life in such a way that enables you to use this pipeline for maximum impact. Finally, you will learn about some tips and tricks straight from the pros of story writing themselves. And the final chapter, you will be provided with everything you need to tie up any loose ends and make sure that you have a rock solid plot line that will drive your story forward. And the most powerful, rewarding and non unexpected way as possible. If you're ready to learn how you can create the best possible plot line and how you can execute it in your writing process so that it has maximum impact, then you're in the right place. Please take your time and build your plot alongside this guide so that you can take in every piece of advice being offered and apply it to your own plot building practice. This will ensure that you are benefiting from all of the knowledge within this guide and let you have the best possible results. And of course, Enjoy. 2. Chapter 1: A Basic Plot Outline: Chapter 1, a basic plot outline. Plot outlines like with story outlines and story structures, have a specific sequence that are usually created. And while you can choose to alter the timing of this sequence, it is always best that you stick to the sequence itself. This will ensure that you're using the proper and best outline available to help you create a rich and powerful plot. In this chapter, you're going to explore with this basic outline is as well as every element that exists in this outline. You will also gain an understanding as to why this structure is built this way and how this contributes to your successful plot story. By the end, you should have a strong understanding as to how the structure works, why it works, and how it looks in stories when it has been executed efficiently. What is the purpose of the plot outline? Like with all of the elements of your story that we've discussed until now, the plot outline or plot diagram has a very profound and powerful purpose when it comes to your story writing process and experience. This tool is specifically used to help you choose major plot points and organize them along the story arc so that you can identify what your story will be like beforehand. The reason you do this is for several reasons. Though, it is primarily for the purpose of organizing your sequencing so that the story pans out in a strong chronological manner that allows it to flow efficiently and effectively. Many people believe that using something such as the plot outline will restrict the writing process and prevent them from having created freedom and expressing when it comes to writing the novel. There are many ways to help further open up the opportunity for creative expression. But ultimately, this is not the case. Having a plot outline does not need to mean that you specifically plan out each minor element of your book before you get to the writing process. Instead, it gives you the opportunity to get an overall idea of where you're going with your novel and how you can get there while providing and delivering the best story possible. This is more about embracing your creative freedom and using it to guide you towards a story that leaves a massive impact on the reader than it is about eliminating your creative freedom and forcing you to think about all the details right now, rather than as they come to you. Plot outlines serve as a great backbone to your story. These provide the bare-bone basics of your story. What you want to include in it, and how you want to deliver it to your readers. As you're writing, you still have the power to switch things around, including enormous amounts of creativity and the actual writing process. And otherwise, add your own personal touch to your novel. Having the plot outline simply means that you know what general direction to head in and when and where things should happen within your book so that you're capable of delivering a strong story that has the ability to engage in press and excite your readers no matter what genre you're writing in. What the outline looks like. The outline looks somewhat like an unfinished triangle or the moving charge that gathers information on a person's heartbeat. It starts out as a flat line, spikes up to create a triangular shape, and then comes back down to the flat line. This is the most basic plot outline that exists. And it is one that virtually every story follows. Although you may slightly alter where the spike exist on your own diagram or how much rising action, falling action exists before and after the spike. The shape remains generally untouched. And it serves as an excellent representation of what your plot outline should look like. Because of the shape of this spike. It is also known as the story arc, where the plot line starts with the flat line is known as an exposition. This is the beginning of your novel. And it serves by providing you with the opportunity to introduce your characters and the other important elements of the book. This is where you want to introduce the setting of your novel, the stakes that your characters are concerned about. And what the problem is. It is through this that you gain the momentum within your novel that will allow you to accelerate towards the problem while keeping your reader engaged. As here is where you give them a reason to care and have the interest to keep reading what you have written. Once you've successfully completed the exposition, you want to introduce the rising action. This is the part of the story where you practice suspense building techniques to keep your reader engaged and involved. You're using this part of the book to climb towards the climax of the story. Here, the problem that your characters are facing is getting worse and the complications are exceeding. Usually the rising action takes course over many pages and even chapters, so that you can generate a large element of suspense before you eventually arrive at the climax. Here you can introduce problems and solve them all well before reaching the actual climax. The primary purpose is to draw the story up to where it happens. With it being the big reason why you're telling the story in the first place. The climax is usually around the middle of the story. Though it can take place sooner or later depending on how you've chosen to write the story and where you've introduced each unique plot element. This is the most exciting and typically most rewarding part of the story, especially for readers, because it gives them satisfaction after all of the rising action you have shared with them until now. This is the part that makes the reader question what's next. And want to keep reading to find out. Once you've worked through the climax of your story, you officially fall into decline, otherwise known as falling action. This is where the wet now part of the climax is revealed. As you give your reader an idea of what the resolution is following the climax of your story. You use this as an opportunity to tie up loose ends, to explain where things go after the climax, and to give your reader an opportunity to reflect on the rest of the story. You answer any questions that may have been left behind throughout the rest of the story and generally work toward closing most things off in this area. This is where you're working towards the resolution. The end of the story is also known as the resolution, and this is where the resolution is actually identified. You use this part of the book to inform your reader as to how the resolution has affected each character, how things have turned out for them, and where they are. Now that the story is problem has been resolved. You close up all the final loose ends here and provide answers to many unanswered questions. This is where you ultimately provide closure for your book, your characters, and your reader. Following this plot outline or diagram gives you the opportunity to use a story arc that works. Virtually every story is built along this diagram in one way or another. Sometimes the climax takes place sooner or later than the center of the story. But this is typically how books are written. This outline is used because it works, but also because it gives you a structured outline to help you write the information that your readers need in order for the story that have a positive impact on them. Using this story, our diagram gives you the opportunity to have plenty of time to introduce different elements of the story and explain them and enough detail that your reader has timed, collect all of the information they need to experience the story and a powerful manner. Examples of plot outlines. There are many examples of plot outlines available to you, especially if you are an avid reader, television or a movie watcher, more story listener. Virtually every story you have ever heard follows this structure in one way or another. However, to give you a few easy ideas of how this outline looks when it is in practice. Let's look at two unique stories, The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella. In three little pigs were introduced to the exposition, where the three pigs are moving away from their family home and each is in search of a new home. We're presented with who they are, what they are doing, and why. We're also given an idea of what's at stake for them, their homes. It moves forward into the rising action when we learned about each of the pigs looking for building materials and then building their homes. We learned that one built there that of a weaker material, straw, one build a stronger material, twigs, and one built there that have the strongest material. Bricks were informed about the varying strengths of these materials, giving us the idea that there is some importance behind this piece of information, but not yet introducing why. The story continues to rise as we later are introduced to the big bad wolf who comes along and half sin puffs to blow down the first house, which is made of straw. As you like. We already know, the house blows down right away and the pig runs off to his brother's house, which is made of twigs. The big bad wolf then goes and blows down the twig house and half sin puffs and blows down that house as well. So the two pigs are left running away to their other brother's house, which is made of bricks. There. The pigs are safe from the big bad wolves huffing and puffing. The climax of the story arrives when the wolf finds a way to climb onto the roof of the house and comes down the chimney. There he falls into a pot of boiling water and pigs cook them up. The falling action is that the pigs enjoy a feast together and are free of their fear of being eaten up by the big bad wolf. The resolution is that the three pigs end up sharing the home together and living with each other happily ever after. Cinderella is another popular fairy tale, which also introduces us to what a plot diagram looks like an action. Here, the exposition lies within Cinderella being introduced to the readers. We learned that she is a step child and that her dad is no longer around. So she lives with her evil stepmom and to evil step sisters. The stepmom and evil step sisters live selfish lives of happiness, enjoy, whilst forcing Cinderella to take care of the household by overseeing the chores and ensuring that all is well looked after. The rising action is when Cinderella over here is about an upcoming ball and insist that she wants to go. The step. Mom says she can only go if all her work is complete, and then ensures that there is so much work to be done that Cinderella will never be done in time. A fairy godmother cams and grants Cinderella her where she's going into the ball. She even ensures that Cinderella has a beautiful outfit and that she's cleaned up nicely for the experience so that she isn't late, and all she has to do is get there. The climax arrives when Cinderella is at the ball. There, the prince falls in love with her and insist that they get married. When she realizes that the clock is about to strike midnight, she runs out without leaving her name or any contact information with the prince. However, she does lose a glass slipper on her way out of the ball. The falling action starts when the prints picks up the shoe and insists that he and his servants find Cinderella. They take the glass slipper and visit every house in the land to find the lady whom the glass slipper belongs to. Cinderella is almost robbed of the opportunity to try on the glass slipper when her stepmother tries to locker in the basement, but she manages to get out. The resolution is finally granted to us when we learn that the glass slipper fits her perfectly. And she is in fact the lady that the prince wanted to marry the night before. The stepmom is furious. And so are the step sisters as they learn that they are not the one who gets to marry the prince. Cinderella, on the other hand, is granted the opportunity to marry the prince, and she's freed from her life as a servant for her ungrateful and evil stepmom and step sisters. As you can see in both of these stories, there are very clear expositions. Rising action, climax, falling action, and resolutions. These are primary requirements of a story to keep it moving so that the readers remain engaged and curious about how the story ends. Without these primary elements, the story may become stagnant veil to draw readers through a chronological series of events that flow effectively do the storyline or otherwise deliver the story in such a way that helps us stay invested in it and curious as to what the resolution will be. Ultimately, the entire purpose of these diagrams is to ensure that your reader stays engaged with what the outcome will be. As you can see with these two examples. 3. Chapter 2: Building Your Plot: Chapter 2, building your plot. Now that you're aware of how a plot should look, it's time to begin building your own. And this chapter we're going to explore the various steps of building your own plant line. You'll be given all the information you need to move from start to finish effectively. Even if you're not already aware of what your story is going to be, you'll be given the opportunity to generate an idea within this chapter. This chapter is all about helping you come up with a great idea and transform it into a powerful plot line that will help you generate a moving and engaging story that keeps your readers invested until the very end. Step one, get inspired. The first part of writing a plot for your story is to get inspired. If you haven't already got an idea of what you want your story to be about. Look for inspiration to help you pick a topic. You can find inspiration for stories in all areas of life, from your day-to-day life to stories that other people tell you. You may even be able to reflect back on certain parts of your life or the life of someone you know, and draw on experiences to help you become inspired and what you should write your book about. Alternatively, you may draw inspiration from other stories that you have heard or read. Ensure that when you are picking your story, however, you don't directly copy someone else's story as this is a form of plagiarism. If you're drawing on inspiration from a story you've already heard or read before. Take the time to look at the story from unique angles to see how you could write the same story only from a completely different perspective, potentially even with a different outcome altogether. If you already have an idea of what you want to write your story about, take the time now to elaborate on that idea in your head. Look at it from all angles and see how you can ensure that you have a rich topic that will provide you with an opportunity to draw on it for plenty of material and substance to build your story from. You wanna make sure that you have the idea entirely beforehand, so that you have the general idea of where to go during the writing process. While you can certainly go ahead without a general idea, you'll be losing all purposes of writing a plot line. And ultimately, you'll end up writing a story with no sense of direction that may result in you having a very bland, unexciting, and otherwise boring story. Step to getting direction. Now that you've generated your idea for what you want to write about, It's time to give yourself a sense of direction. And this will ensure that you're clear on the focus of your story so that you can remain focused during the writing process. Creating a sense of direction for your story is extremely simple. Once you've generated the entire idea of what you want your story to be about. Simply sum it up into one sentence. Being able to sum it up in a single sentence means that you have clarity on what the story is, and you're also clear on what the outcome will be. The outcome is ultimately what you need to know to have a sense of direction as this is what you are going to be writing toward. Next are a few examples of sentences that identify the entire plot of a story. In a few words. A strange sister returns to her brother's life so she can take his money and buy her way out of a dangerous situation. A bartender falls deeper in love with a regular patron each time he visits her bar, and eventually they fall in love, getting married. And by the bar, a surgeon who was murdered by his patient, that is a victim of neurotic episodes, was believed to be a tragic victim. But later they discovered that he was actually holding some very sensitive information that ultimately got him killed. As you can see, each of these sentences gives a very direct insight as to what the story is going to be about and who's involved. It shows you who the protagonist are and what the outcome is for each of them. By identifying what the outcome is and whom it belongs to helps give you the writer a sense of direction in regards to where you're going with your story. This sense of direction is what you want to keep in mind during the entire writing process as all events, dots, conversations, and other actions should ultimately lead up to it. Step 3, turning your idea into a story. Once you have an idea and a sense of direction, it's time to turn your idea into a story. A great way to work with this part of the process is to start with the very basics and then build from there. That being said, start by writing down how much you already know about your story. Anything you've already planned, brainstorm it on a piece of paper. Next, turn this brainstorm and do some basic plot points. Be sure to add some twists, turns, unexpected events, wins, and losses along the way. Then, when you've completed that, take another piece of paper and write these points out along the plot line. If you're using lined paper, leave a few lines between each point. Don't worry about how you're going to organize these into a story arc. They don't need to be in chronological form just yet. Instead, focus on getting them written down. Once you have, then you can start elaborating on the details of each of these points. Consider how each plot point contributes to the greater story and what should be involved so that it can contribute in a strong way. The best way to look at it is to view these unique plot points as tools. Each one will be used to drive your story forward and tell a certain part of it. You want to ensure that these tools are equipped with all the pieces that they will need to provide a strong driving factor for your story. You don't necessarily need to know all the factors of the story, but you should be taking the time to learn as much as possible. Ideally, you want to have at least four to six sentences about each plot point where you identify as many details about that point as you can. Remember, they don't need to be in chronological order. So simply make sure that you're writing down anything that comes to mind that would be important to the story itself. As you are writing, you may find that you are in need of additional plot points. So be sure you take time to brainstorm these and elaborate on them as well. This will ensure that you have all the substance you need to generate a strong plot for your story. Step four, create your story arc. Now you want to begin creating your story arc. This is going to be the outline that was described in chapter one with the exposition, rising action, climax. Falling action and resolution. You can write this in list form by identifying each element of the arc. Or you can draw it out on a piece of paper so that you can plan out your plot is though you're creating a timeline for your novel. Each method works and in fact, can be beneficial for you to do both. Starting with the list and then moving over to the diagram. If you feel that you do better with the opportunity to both plan it out on a list and then get the idea of the final effect on the diagram. Creating your story arc this way is what will ultimately give you the opportunity to get an idea of how your story looks overall. For this point, you want to step back from your detail and look at the greater picture. Here is where you're going to identify where each plot point fits on the diagram and where it should be placed in relevance to other events taking place. Before you get started with placing anything on your diagram. Go over step 67. And they will provide you with important information about how you can do this effectively. Step six, start with the end. When it comes to creating your plot, you want to start with the end. Remember, this is the direction you're heading in and this is where you want your story to end up. You should be able to get an idea of what your end is going to look like based on the focus sentence you're generating. And step two. Now however, you want to elaborate on that, this is going to be the first official plot point you outline on your story arc. Fortunately, it is an easy one. The point lies at the end of a map, so you can place it at the very end of your story arc. Once you have identify what needs to happen in order for you to know that the end has been reached. What that means is identify the conditions, the state of mind, and any other relevant information that will take place at the end of the book that will be an indicating factor for you at the end of the story about how it's matured and is now ready to be ended. As was outlined in step five. It is not necessary for you to go into specific detail about this point altogether, as this should have already happened in step three when you were describing and elaborating on each plot point. Instead, simply refer back to that brainstorm if you need more information about all the details surrounding the ending of your story. Step 7, organize your plot points on the story arc. Once you've identified the end point, you want to start organizing the remaining plot points along your story arc. Now, this is the part where you need to pay attention. Here is where you may choose to put less detail into it if you want. Especially if there are certain elements that you simply don't know yet. But ultimately, having this plan created in the way that we're about to explore is what will ensure that you are clear on the focus and direction of your book and what you need to do to arrive at an outcome. You want to start by working backward along the plot points. Pay attention to what your end is and then write everything on the line going backward from there. Reverse engineering your flatline in this way will ensure that you cover all of the important plot factors and that everything happens chronologically for your outcome rather than it randomly appearing out of nowhere. Doing this actively ensures that everything makes sense and that it's built in the most solid form possible. It also ensures that your plant contains all the information that is needed. And that you can easily find where each plot point belongs based on what needs to happen before the last point in order for you to have even occurred in the first place. For example, in order for the bank Robert rob the bank, he must first plan the robbery. Therefore, placing the plan before the action. Use this frame of thinking for each of your plot points and they will all fall together on the line effortlessly. Step eight, tying it all together. Once you have successfully identified all the different blood points, step back and take a look at your overall story arc. Pay attention to the different planes you haven't included and where everything falls. If it's too crowded, you may consider eliminating some of the less important plot point from the story arc so that you're not going further than what is actually required for the story itself. Alternatively, if you notice anything is missing, take this time to identify what it is and included in your story arc. Once you have, review it one more time to make sure all of the elements fit on it well, and that they're all contributing to the overall story itself. Finally, the best way to bring it all together is to write a few sentences about your story arc. Essentially, you want to give an overview of your story based strictly on each plot point you have added to the story arc. For example, Angela is a barista who has been working for a local coffee shop for six years. She recently met a new friend, Sam, who's been getting her into a lot of trouble. Her boss was worried about her, but this only made Angela feel guilty. To avoid the guilt, she quit her job as a barista and pursued a job in a sketchy nightclub with Sam. This led to the girls being taken advantage of by a patron of the club, which ultimately leads them to find themselves in a basement of an unknown building. You would carry on writing sentences that walk you through each plot line along the way. As this helps you see the flow of how your story will go. Obviously, you want to go into much more detail when writing the story and actually bring the reader along with you. However, writing it in this way allows you to see everything and make sure it all works together well. It can also help you identify anywhere that your plot may need to be altered, reorganized, strengthened, or otherwise adjusted to benefit the overall story. It is vital that you take the time to look over the entire plot line after it's been laid out. Because this is what will ensure that you have made the best one possible. Of course, your plant mine doesn't need to be intensely elaborate and overdone. But having it clearly defined and knowing the important details of each plot point will ensure that you have plenty to write about. And also helps ensure that you are clear on the direction of your story and that you don't end up going off track somewhere during the writing process. Furthermore, if you find that you're feeling stuck from an episode of writer's block. You can consult your plot line that help you move forward and stay on track with your writing. Creating your flatline can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It all depends on how much time you're willing to invest in the process and how much you already know or don't know about your story. For some people, getting the inspiration for the story itself can take a few days or even weeks. Don't be discouraged if you find that it is in a quick one afternoon job for you. The best stories take time to accumulate and they're well planned in advance. The more prepared you are now, the stronger your story will be in the long run. Well, you don't need to plan so deeply that you take away any opportunity for you to be creative during the process. It certainly benefits to have clarity around your book, your goals, and what you envision the end result will be for your story. 4. Chapter 3: Bringing Your Plot to Life: Chapter 3, bringing your plot to life. Bringing your plot to life happens entirely through the writing process. However, there are many ways that you can ensure that you activate the right techniques during the process to really bring your plot to life. Ultimately, bringing your plot to life is the process of taking your story from being an outline on a page to being an actual book that moves your readers and keeps them engaged and invested in your book all the way until the end. And this chapter, we're going to identify important tips to consider when it comes to writing around your plot to ensure that it comes to life effectively for your reader. Consider how your characters fit in. Your characters are the voice to your story. They are also tools you use to move from your story point-to-point. This makes an extremely important element of your story overall. You'll learn more about it in depth character development in character development guide. But in the meantime, you should consider how they fit in overall. This is the part where you want to consider how each character is going to fit into the plot points, as well as how they will be affected by them. Primarily, you want to think about how each point will affect your protagonist and your antagonist. The more you are aware of how they are being affected, the easier it will be for you to write a compelling story that has your readers genuinely believing each point. Since you haven't already established the in-depth portion of your characters, you should consider them in general sense. For example, in Chapter 6, Elise moves away, which causes Jonathan to feel lost. A lease is affected by this move because she is moving away from her best friend and into a place where she doesn't know anymore. Jonathan is affected because he has a crush on a lease, but he never managed to say anything before she left. And now he doesn't think you will ever get the opportunity to tell her how she truly feels. He knows pursuing her dream career is good for her, but he can't help but feel a sense of guilt and hopelessness and round the entire situation. It is important that you consider your characters and each situation because this will help you get inside of their head more. This is important for your character development, which you will learn about. But it is also important for story development. You want to make sure that the events move forward in a way that flows and is natural for the characters within your story. If you're unsure about how to consider your characters and various blood points, use this generic question. How does X effect? Why? Because of z? For example? How does moving affect Jonathan because of his love for release? This question will help you get thinking about how each part of the book affects your characters and then plan out how you can use this in both the planning and writing processes. Hide the plot effectively. When you're writing a plot, it's important that you learn to hide the plot effectively. Even though most readers are aware that there is a climax that typically involves some form of large conflict in virtually every book. It doesn't mean that they want to see the points of the plot sloppily, but in every part of the book, instead, they want to read the book and have that as a natural flow that is hidden in the background. Seamlessly hiding the plant within your book requires a fair amount of practice, as well as a few techniques. One you will learn in the next section, which involves effectively transitioning between plot points. Another includes giving enough detail about each point within the book that it is well-discussed. And it's not feel as though it has been rushed through. Rushing through plot points, detracts from the quality of your book and takes away from the reader experience by not giving them enough information about each plot point. You want to make sure that your reader understands why each element of the story exists and how it ultimately contributes to the story itself. It should feel as though the flow is moving naturally, not slow and not rushed. Hiding the plot sequences and story arc within your story effectively means that your reader should not be able to easily identify when the next major story plot is coming or what it will be if you're not using a dynamic pipeline and hiding it effectively, there's a good chance that your reader will be able to identify what your story is and determine the major plot points and outcome well before they ever gotten to those parts of the story. This takes away from the reading experience and generally leads them putting the book down and not finishing it. Because they simply can't stay engaged, effectively building and hiding your plot line. Avoid this effect of transitioning between black points. It is important that you learn to effectively transition between black points. If you're not highly practice with this, you may want to identify what will take place during the transition before you begin writing. These transition phases are heavily important to the story overall because they contribute to the natural flow of the story. Think about it. Your life is not a series of major events. There are several things that take place in between the major things that happen in your life, the day-to-day events. Well, you don't want to bore your readers by repetitively sharing the same day over and over throughout the story. You also wanna make sure that they give insight to your characters daily lives and what the column is like between the storm. Take the time to naturally transition the plot point along major points, rather than simply jumping from one to the next. This is what gives you a story and natural flow and prevents it from sounding stiff or uncomfortable. There are many ways that you can transition between different elements, several of which will arise naturally as you're writing. However, the following points will give you some ideas as to how you can transition points if you're feeling stuck. Talk about day-to-day life, but switch it up with each transition that you use a strategy for. You may refer to certain points, but don't explain the exact events in great detail over and over. Instead, highlight different elements of the day-to-day experiences between each transition in the chapter and start the next one. Well, you don't want to use the strategy every time. It's a great way to start suspense. Make sure you don't jump right into the climax of the next plot point with the new chapter. But rather that you build up from a new angle than you would have with where you were previously. This also helps build suspense. Talk about the falling action from the previous plot point, and then transition into the rising action of the next plot point. You want to change up with strategy you use each time you're conducting a transition as using the same ones frequently can result in the book becoming predictable. While new chapter should bring new plot points, for example, they shouldn't happen at exactly the same time with the new chapter. You should not immediately feast into the rising action and please the climax of the new plot point within the first page or two of the chapter. Instead, let the rising action linger or even blend together two unique transition strategies for greater impact. The more you vary your approach and use unique angles, the better your overall story will be. Have action-packed plot points. Points are meant to move the story forward. And one, not all of them will be action-packed. You should certainly have a fair bit that is, ActionPack plot points encourage the reader to become further engaged in your book. They become interested in what's happening, how it ties into what has already happened, and what it could mean for the character is going forward. Effectively. Actionpack plot points littered throughout your story, keeps it active and engaging for your readers. And it also helps move you forward toward the outcome. Action is where the motion is. So you want to use this tool as a strategy to help you move the story forward. When you're using action-packed plot points, make sure you don't go too overboard. First, you want to have some of your plot points that are built differently, such as around emotional points. This will ensure that your reader doesn't become overwhelmed with action. Second, you want to make sure that the action makes the sense to the story, that it moves the story forward and that it doesn't overwhelm the reader. Using too much action can result in your reader feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with your story. It also leads them to a feeling of disconnectedness from the story because they simply cannot relate to it. It doesn't seem like a realistic situation that whatever happened, and therefore they are pulled out of the story. Using action-packed plot points is a great tool that is not need to be used sparingly, but it does need to be used effectively. If you're interested in how you can add these to your story, consider looking at your overall plot and seeing where the action-based plot points are. Pay attention to what the action is, how it affects the story, and how you might be able to infuse more action into each plot point to get the most out of it. However, make sure you keep a few that feature action, but still have a more profound sense to them. These are the ones where something major happens, but it's not necessarily built around. And then, and then, and then instead, there was a large event that takes place which isn't clouded by several other events. This is a great way to make an event more profound. So if you need a certain plot point to carry a lot of meaning, make this one of those ones where this is less action built into it and more emotion built into it instead. Make the plot engage the reader's emotions. In addition to having a plot that uses action to drive the story forward, have a plot that activates various emotions within the reader to keep them engaged. Emotional attachment is what encourages a reader to stay connected to the story. When they develop a sense of attachment and concern for the protagonist, as well as some form of emotional resentment against the antagonist. Readers are more likely to stay engaged in the book because they are genuinely invested in knowing how things turn out for the characters within the book. They are more compelled to keep reading. You can engage the reader's emotions in a variety of ways, but ultimately, how you do so will be a part of your plot building. This is also a large part of what brings the plot to life for people. If they don't have a reason to care, they simply won't. Instead, they will tune out. When you give people a reason to care, however, they're more interested, and therefore the entire story comes to life and fuels a passion within them to carry forward, they feel empathy for your characters, and therefore you have the power to engage other emotions within them to further draw them in and keep them moving forward. The best way to engage emotions is to use the characters at each plot point to do so. For example, if someone dies in one of the plot points, you can use the reactions of the characters to spark emotions such as relief, grief, anger, or otherwise. How you choose to spark emotions heavily relies on your decision as well as where you want the story to go. This is all about the outcome. Remember, you should seek to activate several of your reader's emotions throughout the currency of your story. While you don't want to infuse too many emotions into each situation. The story as a whole should dance on the emotional heart strings of your readers in many different ways. The more emotional the experience is, the more enjoyable the readers. Once again, you want to make sure that you're using emotions within reason. You shouldn't be attempting to forcefully push your readers into extreme states of any given emotion. Instead, you want to suggest emotions through the actions, reactions, words, and thoughts of your characters, and allow your reader to take the extra mile on their own. Pushing it too hard, you can make it feel forced than a natural. Therefore, taking away from the reading experience itself, you want the emotion to be believable, natural, and align with the story you're telling in each given moment throughout the book. When it comes to generating emotional reactions from your readers, you want to look at the book as a whole. See how you can use emotions overall rather than how you can use them in each given moment. This will help you move your reader through emotions and unnatural and well-developed way. When it comes to infusing emotions, there's typically a certain way that emotions are infused into a plot line. And the beginning readers are given opportunities to develop emotional attachments to the characters. So you want to emphasize on empathy in this part of the book. When you build empathy effectively here, you give your readers a reason to care for the rest of the book. Next, you want to play on that empathy to generate a healthy connection between the characters and your reader. As you're building the rising action in your plot line. Here, you want to use a lot of positive and happy emotions. You also want to use some feelings of sadness, grief, anxiety, anger, fear, and other emotions to help build up a sense of what the stakes mean for your character. These emotions also help build suspense and get your reader emotionally invested in the conflicts that are helping your characters. At the climax, you want to have a lot of energy built up. The specific emotion you emphasize on will be dependent on your unique genre. It might be love, anger, relief, resentment, frustration, fear, anxiety, or any other number of emotions depending on your genre and the story you're telling. This emotion is the one you want to charge the most as it is highest point in your story. Therefore, your reader really needs to feel like it is while they are reading. As you move through the falling action, you want to highlight emotions like empathy, grief, sorrow, relief, and other emotions that were typically feel after something major as finally happened. Again, the exact emotions you will use will be unique to your unique story. There are also a few important emotions you want to infuse into this part of your story. This part of your story should particularly focus on hope, faith, forgiveness, and rebuilding and moving forward with their lives. Since this is the path towards the resolution, you want them to genuinely feel that the resolution is coming and that the character feels hopeful for it to. While they may lose hope, sometimes it should be a lingering emotion in the background. When the novel ends, you typically want to give the reader a sense of closure. This is where you can give them the happily ever after that most readers come for. This could be a happily ever after where the character's truly achieved happier lives. Or it could be one where they live, the happiest version of their life that they possibly can, based on the traumatic experiences that the characters recently endured. Once again, this will heavily depend on your story. Other genres that you're writing in. For example, romantic novels typically end in a feel-good happily ever after, where the two lovers end up together and lead charming Lee romantic lives until they're old age. Alternatively, a mystery novel where someone is murdered in the beginning and the duration of the novelist spent discovering who did it should have a happily ever after whereby the murderer is found, the case is solved, justice is served, and the characters can move on with their healing process. 5. Chapter 4: Best Plot Building Advice: Chapter 4, best plot building advice. The basic plot building advice and the eight-step process and chapter to give you a great foundation for creating your plot outline. However, you want to make sure that you take it that extra step further and have a great plot outline and not just the Donne won. The following advice will help give you an insight as to how you can strengthen your plot and create a powerful one that will drive your story forward. These tips and tricks are provided from some of the best writers themselves. So you can trust that they are sound and we'll help you with the building and troubleshooting your own plot. Never skip the plot building process. The first tip you should know is that you never want to skip the plot building process. Even if you already know most of the information you want to share in your mind, you still want to build the plot. Building a plot allows you to get the information out of your mind and take it from a great plot to a phenomenal one. This process enables you to go deeper, question yourself and your intentions and increase the quality of the plan overall. It also ensures that you can organize it and stay focused so that your story remains on track. It truly is essential and generating a well-structured chronological and focus flatline that will drive your story forward and keep readers engaged. Failing to create a flat line is truly a tragedy when it comes to your results, it often leads to the story lacking the depth that it could have and ultimately not reaching its full potential. Because you didn't allow yourself to further explore your purpose, your plan, and your direction. You were never able to elaborate on it and strengthen it in a way that would serve your story even more than your initial idea already did. It can also lead to your story being sloppy, disorganized, and all over the place in such a way that your readers simply cannot follow. And therefore they fail to become engaged and stay invested in reading your book. If you want to have a book that makes sense, that engages your readers and that has them craving more of your work, then you absolutely must start with a plot outline. Build strong character is to complement your plot. Your applied is only as strong as your characters are. If you build a strong plot but failed to generate the right characters that can be used to drive the plot forward. You're not going to have a great story. Having a strong story that your readers will love ultimately comes from focusing on all elements of the story, including the plot. You should not primarily focus on the plot, the characters, the structure, or any other element of the story. Instead, you want to make sure that each individual part is well-developed so that they all work together like a well oiled machine. Not only does this make the writing process easier, but it also maximizes the quality of your book and ensures that it reaches its fullest potential in all aspects. Your characters are the ones that are involved in the plot. And they are the ones that you are speaking and acting through to drive it forward. If they're not developed enough. Not created specifically for the plot or otherwise struggled to carry your plot forward. You're not going to have an incredible story. In fact, you may not even have a great one. Instead, you may have a mediocre one that was last on characters who were not strong enough to carry the story forward. And the next part of the series, you'll learn about how you can develop your own characters. And you'll also be walked through an in-depth character building exercise that allows you to generate the best character as possible. Ensure that you take the time to use that and build character specifically for your story in flatline. So they carry it forward and lead you towards complete success with your book. Have a powerful outcome. The outcome of your story is what it's all about. Literally, the entire story building up to that point is only there for that specific point. People want to know how things turn out for all of the characters involved so they remain invested until the end. Curious about what the outcome will be. If your outcome is not powerful enough, your readers are going to be heavily disappointed. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to developing your outcome, which we will explore now. First, you want to avoid your outcome being too flat for the story. It should be full of some form of emotion that leaves your reader genuinely feeling something when the book ends. They should feel hopeful, grateful, happy, or otherwise positive about the ending of the story. Additionally, they should feel as though they've been granted with closure from the ending. Your reader should feel that all loosens had been tied and that anything that was lingering and the story was explained before you drew the story to a close. They should be feeling satisfied and complete with the story you've provided. And not like they're left wondering about any other element. Unless of course, you are purposefully ending on a cliffhanger to help draw them into the next book of a series. You want to avoid leaving your readers with a cliffhanger. Instead, you want to provide them with a sound ending that makes them feel happy for the character. Like their goal was achieved because they accomplish what they had set out to accomplish. In the beginning, we have the presented the primary problem. When you're generating your outcome. You also want to make sure that it leaves a powerful impact on your reader. This comes from the emotions, but it should come from the thoughts as well. A great way to do this is to leave them reflecting on a part of their own life, reflecting on the story itself, or even feeling as though they have learned a lesson, do the reading process. The ending should be sort of like the grand finale for your reader. Complete with a drum roll and fireworks. Use a natural ending point to elaborate on how to end your story. You want to ensure that you choose a natural ending point. You do not want to pick a spot that feels unnatural, like something has been left unsaid or like the reader isn't getting the full gist of the story. You also don't want to carry on well after the natural ending point has come, as this will dilute the quality of your reading. Instead, you wanna make sure that you keep it powerful by providing plenty of information, but only the necessary information. It is important that you remember that the outcome is the part of the book that will remain freshest in your reader's mind. So this is the part that should have the biggest impact on them. Let your characters resolve their own conflict. Many stories fall flat when they let a force of nature or some unknown hero come in and save their characters from the problems that have arisen throughout the story. In some cases, it helps in the majority, however, it is a very weak technique that takes away from the story. Readers are drawn into his story because they develop a connection to the character. So naturally they want to watch the character develop and see the natural conflict resolution by the character. They want to know how this has changed them. How will this help them grow? And what they've learned from it? Not only does this allow the reader to feel as though they are spying through a people into the life of the character. But when done properly, it also helps the reader learned some things from the character. When readers feel connected to the character, it's often because they relate in some way. Therefore, when the character naturally evolves, that causes the reader to look within themselves and see how they've grown or how they might grow in the future as a result of what they've witnessed in your characters. For this to happen, however, there has to be a change in your character that takes place naturally. This means that it is important that you let your character resolve their own conflict. While you can't allow heroes and random acts of nature take the credit on smaller subplots within the story. It's important that the major changes and lessons are directly through the characters themselves. Be original. If the story you're writing is already been written and you are only changing the names and a few basic points in the book, you're going to lose traction with the readers. Books that are outstanding and that become known as great and even phenomenal books are ones that are written out of originality. Everything else gets tossed in the bargain bin within a few days from their launch, you wanna make sure that you're writing an original story, that your reader will not feel like they've already read. If they feel like the story is too similar to another that they infrared, then your story becomes both predictable and unexciting. You may even damage your writing reputation by essentially copying someone else's work. And if you're not careful, you could infringe on plagiarism rules. It is important that you generate an original plot that your reader doesn't know from previous stories. While it will certainly share similarities to others in the genre, and it may borrow some ideas or techniques from other books. The overall product should be unique and original from what has already been written and released. This will ensure that you keep your readers engaged and interested throughout the reading process and that your story has the potential to climb to the best seller rating, rather than simply being skimmed through and drop just as quickly. Use an exciting plot. Readers don't want to get engaged with your book. They need to. If you use a plot that lacks excitement, you're going to struggle to get your readers engaged, and therefore you'll fail to meet their expectations and have them raving about your book. Instead, they'll simply close the book and won't recommend it to anyone else. Or worse, they'll leave a negative review on reviewing platforms about the book, discouraging others from giving it a chance. What you need is an exciting plot that will keep your readers engaged and invested from the time they opened the book until the time be finished reading it. Your reader should feel like they don't want to put the book down when they're reading it. And like they can't wait to get back to it. Once they have, they should be heavily invested in the characters, the stakes, the conflicts, and the story itself. Doing this requires you to have an exciting plot. And exciting plot is one that moves forward. It should not go straight from point a to point B though. Instead, it should take many unexpected twists, turns, and sidesteps as it advances toward the final outcome. The reader should not know what to expect, but they should be emotionally invested in each part of it. Every plot point that you include should contribute to the overall story in some way. Even if the reader doesn't understand how right away or until much later, the more effectively you keep the story exciting and interesting, the more you will generate raving readers who are eager to share your book with others and encourage them to give it a read themselves. Switch up the pace. When it comes to writing a fiction novel. You always want to emphasize on how you compare it to reality. Even if you're writing a fantasy novel, the pace at which the book moves should be comparable to reality itself. There should be parts where it's fast and parts where it moves slower. There should be areas where strong emotions are sparked. And there should be areas where there are no emotions. Your reader should feel as though the book ebbs and flows much like an ocean tide. This gives them an opportunity to move along with the story at a natural and realistic pace. During the times of action and emotion, they are heavily engaged and are rapidly being fed new information. And during the times of calm and more relaxing emotions, they're given the opportunity to reflect on recent events while also seeing how the characters are doing the same. Switching up the pace gives your book or realistic flow that keeps readers believing it to be true and maintains their ability to relate to it in some way. At most times. Stay on track. Subplots are a great way to add depth to your book. However, too many can result in your book going off track and becoming confusing to the reader. You should not be darting around with information, sharing too many subplots or diving into information that has entirely irrelevant to the story overall. Instead, you want to make sure that you're staying focused on the end result. Any subplot that somehow contributes to the overall story by giving a depth, allowing you to further explain certain elements of people or the plot or otherwise increasing the quality of your story should be considered. Those that add enough value that makes them worthwhile should be kept. All other subplots should be ignored. When it comes to staying focused, make sure that you never divulge into information that is entirely irrelevant to the story, unless it's drawing the reader toward the outcome. Teaching them more about your characters or otherwise providing them with a value that contributes to the story itself. You should not be sharing it. Getting carried away with irrelevant information results in your reader becoming confused. It dilutes your story and make sure that readers want to close the book because they simply don't grass, but you're trying to tell them. Have a strong why. Your y is your outcome. It is the reason why you are writing the story. Are you writing it to teach people who murdered the person in the beginning? Are you writing it to share a romantic love story between two people? Are you doing it to dive deeper into a fantasy world that you've built in your imagination and bring it to life. Are you doing it to teach a reader a lesson? Why are you writing your book? Knowing why the book is being written in the first place can help with a significant number of writing elements. Your y is ultimately what will help you generate your plot as it will ensure that you are creating plot points that are relevant to the overall story or the y. It also ensures that your story stays focused. Furthermore, it helps your readers feel the significance of your novel. Your why for writing it will also be there. Why for reading it. They need to feel the significance and impact of this so that they feel compelled to read your book in the first place and to continue reading it until it ends. This is how they will get the biggest impact from your book. So you wanna make sure that you're clear as to why you're writing it in the first place. Don't abuse writing techniques. Writing techniques are like tools that you use to structure your story, creates certain causes and effects, and ultimately design your entire story in a way that impacts the reader, the way the story is intended to. They are an incredible selection of tools you absolutely need to use to generate a phenomenal story that your readers will love. However, you have to be aware of when using these techniques. You never want to abuse them by overusing them, using them in the wrong area or otherwise misusing them when they are not used properly. These techniques take away from the story and you dilute their impact overall, it is important that you use the right techniques in the right places and that you don't overuse them so as to eliminate the effect they have on your story. Learn as you go. One of the best pieces of advice that can be given is to learn as you go. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Take on criticism, and increase your skill by actively practicing it. Remember, you can't learn something if you don't practice in the first place, you don't try something and become an overnight master with it. You have to use the skill, practice this skill, and expand on the skill as regularly as possible. If you're going to become a master at it. The best writers got to where they are today by practicing, listening to feedback and improving their own skills. One great way to go about this is to keep a notebook and write down feedback you get, as well as ideas or thoughts you have along the way. This gives you something solid to look back on and reflect on when it comes to increasing your skill and doing it better. 6. Conclusion - Plotting: Conclusion. Thank you for making it through to the end of plotting. This guide was designed to help you take your plot deeper, increase your writing skills, and give your story a greater sense of purpose to keep your reader engaged and entertained along the way. I hope this guide was able to provide you with new revolutionary and insightful tips and tricks to help you with your plot. I also hope that you are able to use the eight-step plot building guide to help you generate a plot that will powerfully drive your story so that you can create the next bestseller. Remember, these tips are ones that can take you to the next level, but it's up to you to implement in practice them. If you're going to take it all the way, only you have the power to materialize the stories in your head and share them with the world. Practicing will help you do this with maximum impact. The next step is to create your own plot line that will enrich your story and carry it to the end. Remember, reverse engineering is the best way to ensure that your story features everything it requires. So always look at things backward, if not starting backwards to begin with. Additionally, make sure that you take the time to follow the next guide in the series, where you will learn to develop incredible characters that will complement your plot perfectly and help you take your book to the top. Recall that a book is like a well oiled machine, whereby all the elements, such as the structure, plot, line, outline, and characters are built together to operate seamlessly and create a relatable, realistic story that your readers will love. Each element should be individually developed with the intention of it being a greater part of the story so that they contribute to the greatness of your novel. Thank you and good luck.