I really like what Michael P. Williams wrote - “The plot is deceptively simple. Condensed even further, it might read as a personal ad in some questfinder’s forum: Unlikely hero to save world from cataclysm. Seeks motley assortment of companions. Sidequests guaranteed.” In many ways, I think this is a great way to reduce your plot to a few basic words.
Anyway, what do I do? If I am going to start something, I will always begin at the end. Let’s think about a holiday. Consider these questions:
- Where are you going or would you like to go on holiday?
- Why do you want to go there?
Once we have our destination and reason why we are going there we have our ending. So, we can now work backwards:
- How are we going to get there? Walk? Train? Aeroplane?
- What problems may we face?
These answers can the form the basis of the middle of our story. All we need now is the beginning:
- Where are we going to start from? Here? Somewhere else?
- Why do we want to go there?
- Who is going with us?
We have our opening and what’s more we have our motivation for going on holiday (why do we want to go there) which he then come back to in the ending. This is essentially how I begin to plan my plot and the structure of my novels.
Part 2 of 7 will follow next week.