Write The Perfect Plot With These 7 Easy Steps

By on July 11, 2016
Write The Perfect Plot With These 7 Easy Steps - Writer's Life.org www.writerslife.org/

Having a great idea for a story is one thing, being able to write an excellent plot is another. Plotting can be one of the hardest parts of novel writing, and it takes practice and hard work to hone and refine your plot creation skills.

The good news is that once you understand how to plot your stories you will realise that the same basic rules need to be followed each and every time you write, and if you can do this then you can continue to create stories with well structured, engaging plots each and every time.

Here are seven easy steps to follow to help you write the perfect plot:


You must ask yourself what your characters motivation is. What drives them to do what they do? Your protagonist needs to be motivated in order to act, and your reader needs to understand their aims, and what they are hoping to achieve. Their aims have to matter to both them and the reader - if they aren’t important then the reader won’t care whether your protagonist achieves them or not.

The goal

The protagonists goal needs to be established early, and though the goal can change and develop throughout, the drive and motivation to achieve it must be constant. The goal can be anything from finding true love to catching a villain, but the sooner this is established in the story the sooner your readers will be hooked.

The obstacle(s)

Obstacles must be presented throughout the novel and they must increase in danger or difficulty as the novel continues. Your protagonist must overcome these obstacles in order to reach their goal, if they cannot - all is lost. As the jeopardy increases, the importance of reaching their goal, and the consequences if they do not must become even more important too.


Each chapter needs to be a mini-story all of its own. Your character should constantly be changing, developing, moving, getting one step closer, taking two steps back. Make sure that at the end of every chapter your character has moved or changed in some way, and always end a chapter on a cliffhanger to keep your reader wanting more.

The focus

It’s great to have subplots that link into your main story, however, if you find yourself going off on a tangent make sure you reign it back in again. Your plot needs to remain focused on the story in hand. If you drift away from that you are simply wasting words and confusing and possibly boring your reader too.

Taking control

Keep your characters under control. Every character in your story needs to have a purpose, and they need to be interesting and engaging too. If a character doesn’t influence your story, ask yourself why you need them to be in it at all.

Look to the classics

If in doubt check out successful books throughout history - almost all of them follow the same basic patterns and structures when it comes to plotting.

So if you are in doubt take a break and read some of these celebrated works - in fiction the rules are there for a reason so don’t try to outsmart them - they have been followed for centuries because they work!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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