Saturday, February 12, 2011

Plotting Checklist

I fear that my blog is too serious, judging by the number of followers (7) in my third week. Perhaps blogging is not the vehicle for studying a textbook-type lesson. Nevertheless, hard-headed as I am, I am continuing this week to give information that I I've digested and embodied in my writing over the past twenty years.

GARY PROVOST’S PLOTTING CHECKLIST

Courtesy of Frank Strunk, Antioch Writers’ Workshop, 1992


1. Ghost/back story:

What is it that is haunting your character as the story begins?

2. Inciting Incident:

What event sets the plan into motion?

3. Character’s Need:

In what way does your character need to grow emotionally (although probably unknown to him or her).

4. The Goal:

What is it that your character wants?

5. The Plan:

What does your character decide to do in order to get what he/she wants?

6. The Stakes:

What will be the consequence if the plan does not work?

7. The Oppositions:

Who are the people who are working against your characters?

8. The Nightmares:

What are the encounters between your character and the oppositions?

9. The Final Nightmare/Blackest Moment:

What happens to make things look hopeless?

10. The Revelation:

What does your character learn about himself/herself, others, or life?

11. The Choice:

What does your character do because of what he/she has learned?

12. (My addition - from Aristotle) The Reversal:

Have your characters reversed their positions (from beginning to end) in the hierarchy of power in the story?

4 comments:

  1. I like #12. I never thought of that before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aristotle knew it all. Most everything you can be taught about plotting is an expansion of Aristotle's Poetics. If you haven't, give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
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