Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Plot Point part of Sructure

by C. Michelle Jefferies

If you remember, last week we talked about the four parts of the story, and the four stages of character.

Today we're going to talk about plot points. Plot points are the defining moments in the story. They aare supposed to happen at the quarter marks in the story, IE PP1 at 1/4th the way into the story. However if they don't happen at exactly the proposed time or aren't just one scene, that's okay. I myself tend to have really short resolution stages and long mid points.

The first point in the story is called the hook.


•Happens early in the story, preferably the first few chapters.

•Gives the reader some clue as to the conflict later in the story.

•Provides some action or conflict in the introduction part of the story.

The next point is called Plot Point 1. It happens at 1/4 the way through the story. It begins the reaction stageof the story, and the wanderer character stage.

It is:

•Most important part of your story.

•The MC’s call to action, or event that starts everything moving.

•The true introduction of the conflict.

•After this point the MC or Hero’s life can never be the same.

•Can be external or internal.

•Doesn’t have to be dark and earth shattering.

An essential element of Structure are Pinch Points.


•Are a reminder of the conflict and bad guy throughout the story.

•Should happen at least once half way between PP1 and MP and once between MP and PP2.

•Can be sprinkled throughout the story.

Deepens the conflict, and raises the stakes.

The next Point is Mid Point, it is crutial to a good story. It marks the middle of the book and heralds in the active stage for the characters. This is where your character goes from wanderer to warior.


•Can be a huge unexpected twist in the story leaving the characters and reader shocked, or something so subtle the MC doesn’t even know that things have changed. (but reader does)

•New information that changes the experience and understanding of the MC, the reader or both.

•Changes the MC from reactive stage to active stage

•Prevents the “sagging middle”

The last plot point is Plot Point 2, it happens at about 3/4 through the book and is where things wrap up and we move from active stage to resolution stage and where the character goes from warrior to martyr.

It is:

•The climax of the story. “The final car chase scene.”

•New information or something happens that takes the MC toward the conclusion of the story.

•The story shifts into resolution mode.

•No new info, or characters after this point

Which brings us to the resolution, in the Resolution we must:

•Hero must emerge and MC engages as the primary catalyst.

•Hero must conquer their inner demons and show personal growth.

•Ending of book should resonate with the readers.

•In a stand alone all major loose ends must be tied up.

•In a series only the book specific ends must be resolved, should leave some ends un finished leading into the next book.

I have drawn this out in a diagram. I hope this translates well.

Introduction ______Reactive _________ Active _______ Resolution

Orphan _________Wanderer_________Warrior _______ Martyr


Plot Point 1 _________Mid Point _______ Plot Point 2 (Represented by ^)

Pinch Point 1________Pinch Point 2 (represented by *)

I hope you are enjoying this little jaunt into the world of Story Structure. I know it has revolutionized the way I write.

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