How to PLOT

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I found this lovely worksheet from Annie Neugebauer that you can fill out when trying to develop your story's overall plot. Original source at: (linked to in the External Link)

Working title:




Part One

 Inciting Incident:

What happens to the protagonist to put her unavoidably in the path of the antagonist?

Internal Initial Conflict (call to action):

What does your protagonist most want? Why can't she have it? How will she try to get it?

External Initial Conflict (call to action):

What does your protagonist want to accomplish or obtain (physically)? How will she go about it?

Woven-in Backstory, Vital Information:

What happened before the inciting incident that we must know to understand the story?

Part Two

Internal Conflict (obstacles):

Why is your protagonist hesitant to strive for her goals? What (emotionally) makes her falter?

External Conflict (obstacles):

What stands in the way of your protagonist's goals? What will happen to her if she fails?

Internal Higher Conflict (obstacles heighten):

Why should your protagonist turn back now? Why doesn't she? What's at stake?

External Higher Conflict (obstacles heighten):

Who or what is trying to stop your protagonist? Why?

Internal Highest Conflict (obstacles intensify):

What makes your protagonist realize the unavoidable importance of her original goal? What gives it new meaning?

External Highest Conflict (obstacles intensify):

How does the antagonist get the best of your protagonist? What could make it worse? What happens to make her believe that there is no way to win?

Internal Point of No Return (stakes):

What happens to change your protagonist so that she'll never be the same again?

External Point of No Return (stakes):

What makes it impossible for your protagonist to go back, to give up?

Darkest Hour:

What is the worst possible thing that could happen to your protagonist?

Turning Point:

How does your protagonist realize she must continue to fight? How does she decide to risk everything? What new approach or idea has she come up with to battle on?

Part Three

Internal Climax:

What does your protagonist realize at the crucial moment? What does she learn? Overcome?

 (preferably simultaneous)

External Climax:

How does your protagonist defeat your antagonist?

Resolution (external):

What does defeating the antagonist accomplish? How are things different?

Character Growth (internal):

How has your protagonist changed?

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