forum Here's a plot template for those who are struggling
Started by @Blossom_Utonium

people_alt 66 followers


(I saw this in a tumblr post once and it really helped me, thought I'd share it, if anyone knows the OG poster let me know and I'll give credit) This is a template for a 75-scene novel, which doesn't necessarily mean 75 chapters but that's how I do it. It helps to ensure that each scene that you write has a purpose and is working towards the actual plot. Each scene should be described in one sentence or so, and this style of plotting works really well with the timeline feature on, or you can just use a numbered list.

For every scene, I ask myself two questions: what is the purpose of this scene, and how is it driving the story forward? There's no such thing as a throwaway scene! I also like to start with scene 1, then scene 37, then scene 75, and fill in the rest from there.

  • Scene 1: The inciting incident. This is the thing that gets the ball rolling and establishes who the hereo(s) are and what's at stake here.
  • Scenes 2-14 should be all about introducing characters, relationships, and worldbuilding, but remember, you can sprinkle in things like backstory as you go.
  • Scene 15: The first plot point. This scene should not only advance the plot but also raise the stakes. Usually some sort of realization/addition of information.
  • Scenes 16-25 are all about how the characters deal with and respond to the first plot point (which should shift their plans, btw). Excellent time to start foreshadowing plot twist. If you didn't introduce your villain earlier, you need to do it now so they'll be set up for the pinch point.
  • Scene 26: The first pinch point. Things need to get more difficult for your mains here, should be a reminder of the antagonist and what they can do.
  • Scenes 27-36 should be setting you up for the big twist, as well as making your character's lives hell. I'm talking fighting amongst the team, things getting more dangerous, the whole nine yards.
  • Scene 37: Midpoint plot twist. Turn that story on its head and throw a wrench in things! Scenes 1-36 should be building to this.
  • Scenes 38-47 are now all about how your hero(s) respond to and deal with the big twist. What now? How has this changed the game? Things should be spiraling in a downward direction now.
  • Scene 49: Second pinch point. Something tragic/terrible that raises the stakes to an all-time high and leaves the hero(s) at their lowest point ever.
  • Scenes 50-59 should have the vibe of "what's the point of doing ___ when ___ has happened?" Hero(s) should be falling apart and unsure of themselves, and your reader should wonder how the hell they're going to pull it off.
  • Scene 60: Second plot point. The final piece of info your hero(s) need to stand up and accomplish what they set out to do. We're in endgame now, so that means no new information past this point. That includes settings, characters, backstories, worldbuilding, etc. Your hero(s) should be set up for success by now.
  • Scenes 61-74 is all endgame. I personally like to have the preparations in scenes 61-5 and then have either 66 or 67 (or both) be the big fight, which leaves you scenes 68-74 to tie loose ends. Or you may want more battle or prep time, that's just how I do it.
  • Scene 75: The end! Anything that needs tying up should be tied up, and your hero(s) should signal to the readers that it's over, they did it, and now they can rest (or you can set them up for a sequel).

Hope this helps someone!