I am in the midst of writing my current WIP, about half-blood angels and devils. Though I have a rough idea of the way the story will begin and end and also bits and pieces about its middle portion, for the major part of it I am free floating, winging it with my imagination.
Even though, at times I love being a pantser, I have certain plot points I base my story on. I am sharing these plot points with you all.
Inciting Incident. Every story has this event. The Inciting Event is responsible for throwing the protagonist headlong into the path of trouble/conflict or problem.
Plan. It’s what the Main Characters decides to do, to thwart the obstacle, to bypass the roadblocks and overcome the Antagonist. This is a course of action the MC decides upon to tackle the problem at hand.
Game. Every conflict is like a game where there is only one winner; either the protagonist or the antagonist. The result depends on who plays smartly and aggressively. The game and its rules come into play here. Who has the odds stacked against them? Who is the Dark Horse?
Changing Obstacles. These obstacles in the story keep changing, very often they grow not only in size, but also change their direction and shape. The introductory of sub - plots comes into focus here. This change of direction can get the protagonist into more trouble and make the antagonist more powerful.
Plot Twist. These curves in the path of the plot help to set the pace. Many times plot twists happen when new characters arrive or the old ones wave a goodbye.
Sometimes even the unexpected actions of few trusted characters bring about a twist in the plot.
Dark Moment. This is the moment when the Main Character is left completely alone. He or she has to now trek the route to victory only on the sheer strength of his or her own efforts. External help may or may not come. But the war started has to be waged and the battle fought.
Epiphany. The moment of Epiphany brings about an illumination. It’s the moment when things fall in place and the path ahead is clear as though someone has showed the protagonist a roadmap complete with detailed directions. A light bulb literally lights up.
New Plan. With the moment of Epiphany a new course of action is charted, new plans made. Once again there is a change of speed.
Cliffhanger. The Cliffhanger sees the execution of the new plan/s. Will they bear fruit? Will the protagonist fall flat? Will the antagonist win because of the protagonist’s foolishness. It’s the moment that adds tension.
Climax. The final battle is fought. The protagonist is all set to do or die, while the antagonist is all ready to kill or be killed.
Ending. Where perfect resolutions find their true place and the loose ends are tied together.
When I start plotting, I base the outline of the story on these plot points. I feel it helps me sum up the entire story and still gives me the freedom to deviate if I want to.
What about you all?Are you all plotters or pantsers or like me in between? How do you plot your stories? Is there any secret to plotting your stories? We all would love to get familiar with your individual processes, as I am sure we can learn a lot from it.