A good story opens with a protagonist whose life has been turned upside down in a negative way by an antagonist. This is known as the Inciting Moment.
This causes problems for the protagonist. The protagonist has to react to this challenge. The protagonist tries to solve the problem. The problem is not solved and becomes more complicated. The main character tries again. This attempt also fails and the problem worsens.
This leads to a ‘dark night of the soul’ where it seems as if the antagonist will win. The protagonist tries again and solves the problem.
This is plotting at its most basic. You will have to flesh out the plot from this simple formula. We know from teaching our course, Writers Write, that most writers haven't even thought out these five points before they decide to write a book. We would suggest that you use it as a starting point.
If you enjoyed this, read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book
If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.
© Amanda Patterson
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