• Why Now? Believable Plots

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    One question that is often overlooked in plotting is "Why Now?" Let's say you want your character to decide to complain to the principal about someone bullying them. OK. Great. It's surely time Emily got some spunk and got Jeremy off her back. But why now? It must be explained by actions and motivations that go deeper ...

  • PLOT: You MUST be Brutal

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    The biggest problem I have in planning a plot--still, after all these years--is that I am too nice to my characters. I can't imagine the horrible things that need to happen, without a big struggle. Listen up: What is the worst thing that could happen to your character? It MUST happen at the climax of the ...

  • End of Act I: 5 Functions Determine Plot

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    In traditional jargon, Act 1 ends with a plot point that pushes the protagonist irretrievably into committing to the action of the story. The problem with writing is that the Plot Point at the end of Act 1 could be anything. At least at the beginning of the writing process. In reality, that plot point is ...