What the Plot?

What the Plot?

What is a plot? Well, depending on what you are writing, it could be where you bury the body. All joking aside, it’s a sequence of events your protagonist and antagonist must go through to get a resolution at the end of the book. (Unless it’s a series, but it’s also not that simple.)

In a plot, we have:

Exposition, Inciting incident, Rising action, Dilemma, Climax, and Denouement.

Let’s take a quick look.

Exposition – meaning, to explain your story. This is your set up of scenes, incidences, and characters. The get to know the story before the inciting incident.

Inciting incident – what is happening? What is thrusting all your characters, specifically your main character, into action?

Rising action – The ‘uh-oh’ how on earth do I fix this? Where trouble brews, boils, and bubble over. Your character(s) are ankle, knee, hip, and neck high in it. There is no way out… or is there?

Dilemma – There are no solutions, or if there are, it’s a challenge to overcome them. They are in a rock and a hard place. If they choose what’s behind door number one, they’ll die. If they choose behind door number, they’ll die. How will they get through trouble unscathed? Or maybe they will be scarred for life.

Climax – This is the highest point of tension, but we can see a light at the end of the tunnel (maybe).

Denouement – The French word for ‘untie the knot.’ Here, we see the resolutions come together. The characters overcome! They succeed and triumph, tell the tale and live another day. (Unless it’s a series, you write dark, or you have an ambiguous end.) But even so, there should be a resolution or lead-in to your next work.

Another way to look plot is this:

Inciting incident – This would also add the exposition, setting up the scene where the inciting incident can take place, catapulting your character (s) into an exciting plot, a no turning back, they must go forward.

Plot point 1 – Where the character (s) begin to realizes something is going on, and they must delve into it, deal with, but maybe they do not want to.

Midpoint – Things come to a head. The moment they either turn back, or go forward and if they go forward or back, a consequence of this action must happen.

Plot point 2 – Everything fails. It’s hopeless, or looks hopeless and how in the world is this character (s) going to get through this.

Climax – Success! Or failure. The next book, or final closure and wrap up.

The plot is the bones of your story. The plot is your cause and effect, keeps your story together, and if done correctly, keeps the reader turning pages.

So, what’s your plot? What motivates your characters? What is the drive behind your character’s flaws, successes, and ability to make good (or bad) choices? What is the moral compass your character has? What is the core message you want to tell in this story?

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to…

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