Plots and Outlines


Some writers create an outline of the story, before they begin to write. Others are knowing as “pantsers” and prefer to write and plot as they go along.

The main thing to remember about a plot is that it should generally follow these guidelines, whether planned ahead of time, or as the work progresses.

Three Act Structure

Act One is the Set up

  1. Beginning
  2. Inciting Incident
  3. Second Thoughts

Climax of Act One

Act Two

  1. Obstacle
  2. Obstacle

(these obstacles are ascending action)

The Midpoint (a big twist)

  1. Obstacle
  2. Disaster
  3. Crisis

Climax of Act Two (this is the height of the story)

Act Three is the Resolution

Descending Action as Climax of Act Three

followed by the wrap up and the End.

I tend to write and create as I go along. The characters, so far, have taken on their own personalities and behaved as they wish. I do not plot an outline ahead of time. That is for later, once the main part of the story is written. This has served me well and I don’t think that I will try a plot line in advance, any time soon.