Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Exercise Part One: An Eight-Part Way To Outline Your Plot

This week, we have two exercises to challenge us and enjoy, posted by Glen C. Strathy on "How to Write a Book Now."

Today, we dive into "How To Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps*," based on the Dramatica theory of story created by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley.

With the challenge (and assurance) that the whole plot outline can be completed in less than an hour, Glen lays out eight basic plot elements.

The first one is choosing a Story Goal, and then Glen takes it somewhere interesting:
After we have chosen a Story Goal, we will build a world around our protagonist that includes many perspectives on the problem and makes the goal important to everyone in that world.
The second plot element is Consequence.
Once you have decided on a Story Goal, your next step is to ask yourself, “What disaster will happen if the goal is not achieved? What is my protagonist afraid will happen if he/she doesn't achieve the goal or solve the problem?”

The answer to these questions is the Consequence of the story. The Consequence is the negative situation or event that will result if the Goal is not achieved. Avoiding the Consequence justifies the effort required in pursuing the Story Goal, both to the characters in your novel and the reader, and that makes it an important part of your plot outline.

The combination of goal and consequence creates the main dramatic tension in your plot. It's a carrot and stick approach that makes the plot meaningful.
Check out the next six plot elements and the full article/exercise here.

No matter where you are in your work-in-progress, this may be worth trying out.

Illustrate and Write On,

No comments: