A Simple Plotting Guide for Writers

Hello, book and writer geeks,

Before I get to the plotting guide I would like to have a bit of transparency and full honesty: While I do have a few writers’ certificates from correspondence courses and have taken a handful of English and creative writing classes, I don’t have any major writing degree (maybe one day I’ll finish a creative writing degree, but today is not that day.) I am just a simple, geeky person with an inner, blazing fire for writing and creating that has been burning since I was a child. The desire to be forever learning my craft will never cease. 

During my ongoing desire to write, learn, and tweak my writing process I have made a list of prompts to aid me in my plotting process. So, in essence, it’s kind of a plotting guide, if you will. If you are a pantser then this may not be for you. 

A Simple Plotting Guide (A Working Process)

This outline can be used as your personal cheat sheet or integrated into your own existing plotting guide to enhance your writing experience. If it helps with your plotting and story telling then I’m elated.  We are always students and the world is our classroom (so to speak) and I believe in growing together. By helping others we are essentially helping ourselves. I will do my best to share my knowledge whenever I can. Now, on with the guide!

General Outline

Working Title:

Idea/ Premise:

Theme:

Main Character(s)/ Protagonist:

Main Character/ Protagonists Goal:

Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist:

Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist’s Goal:

First Act: Introduce protagonist and their problem and why they need to solve it – the inciting incident.

Rising action:

Falling action:

Second Act: Add twists, trials, complications, or new problems arise.

Rising action: Increase tention/character(s) make plan of attack.

Falling action: Learning from mistakes, solving clues, surprise defeats, or feeling defeated.

Third Act: Verge of giving up/ all is lost, finding resolve/ pep talk, new look on problem.

Climax: Rising action/ tension peaking. Surprising twists, or reveals using what character(s) learned.

Resolution: Facing fear, great victory, or the world changed for the better, etc.

Chapter by Chapter Outlining (use for each chapter)

Chapter:

Point of view character:

Plot point:

Scene descriptions: Use five sense/ create mood and atmosphere.

And that’s pretty much it! It’s very simple and basic. There are plenty of plotting guides out on the net that go into more detail, but I would like to learn a bucket load more before I attempt something like that. I used an early rendition of this outline for my last novel then decided to tweak it and ended up with this one, which I’ll be using for a new novel idea that I will be writing very soon. (I do have a brief character outline as well, but that will be another post.)

Until next time!

Stay geeky and keep writing.

A Writer's Journal: With Plotting Guide

I love journals, especially for my writing projects. There is often a journal or two hanging around my working area (wherever in the house that may be).  Right now, I have four of them within reaching distance. While I don’t mind making up a plotting page on my computer it’s just not quite the same as pencil or pen on paper. Mmmm, stationary… my second biggest love next to books.

Due to my love of journals, I created one that had the plotting guide featured in this blog post to make it easier on me and to help keep track of my story plots. There’s also the short character outline inside which I’ll outline that info in a near future post.

If you like journals as much as I do and like to have a simple plotting guide then this journal is for you! I will be using this journal soon to help me outline a new story idea. (To buy the journal, just click the picture to take you to Amazon!) 

I’ve rambled on enough today. I hope you all have a great, geeky day.

Read. Write. Create. Plot!

JT Harris.

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