Plots to Die For

Simon Weed “Save the Cat” Patrick Roth(Something) Elmore Leonard Rachelle J. Christensen


-Thrust reader into the storyline

-Give back round in chewable chunks

-BRIEF intro to characters

-Inciting incident in first five pages- should correlate with the plot. Create tension. Motivate character.


-Suspense in EVERY chapter

-Have good first sentence

- NEVER open book with weather

-Avoid prologues

-Dan Wells Story Structure Class (youtube)

1- Hook-- Starting state

2- Plot Turn one-- Introduce conflict

3- Pinch one-- Apply pressure (force people to action/ introduce villain) (make things worse)

4- Midpoint-- Center. Move one state to another state (Reaction to ACTION)

5- Pinch two-- more pressure, until situation is hopeless. These are the Jaws of Defeat from which your hero will be snatching victory. Make teeth sharp.

6- Plot Turn two-- Final thing you need to make it happen. Move from midpoint to end

7- Resolution-- Everything in your story leads to this.

---Elements of Suspense--- The setting-- Establish plot (Gun on the wall, it’s got to be used)

-Characters-- intimate details that leave your reader wondering and wanting to turn the pages (eye patches--How did they get there?)

- High stakes-- What is at stake here? Don’t let minor character’s problems hijack main’s problems.

-Create questions your reader wants answered. (Like hinty dialogue)

-Foreshadowing-- Lightning: You see it, but when will the thunder come?

Keep suspense of disbelief

-Create problems~ hard choices for characters. Create lose - lose situations

Put your characters in a tree and throw rocks at them!!

-Wrap up loose ends.

-Show character growth

-Satisfied endings. No “The Village”s or Artemis Fowl’s

MAKE SURE PLOT IS TO DIE FOR.~~~What makes the reader stay up late reading?

The End

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