Writing Tips #3(Sequencing the Plot)

Warm regards, wonderful readers and amazing writers! You have now reached that step of your recipe, where the tastemaker is added to the dish. Without this, your stories would be nothing but meaningless collection of words. Still wondering what I’m talking about? It’s the plot of your story! If you start writing a story without a plot, then I’m pretty sure you’ll keep coming across writer’s blocks after every scene. Before we begin, the steps of beginning our story are still unchanged:

#1 – Word Count and Story Length
#2 – Choosing the genre/ Conceptualizing the story
#3 – Sequencing the Plot
#4 – Character Development
#5 – First Person/ Second Person/ Third Person Narrative
#6 – The Power of Foreshadowing

By now, if you’ve followed the previous parts then you’re pretty acquainted with the wants of your story and know what genre you would write in. Pat your back, you’ve earned it.

As you move further to the story’s plot, you should know how necessary is it to have a plot. A plot is what will give direction to your story and most importantly help in reasoning every sentence mentioned in it. The reasoning is a mandatory part, however, it can be kept a secret and be used to keep the reader’s curious using the mystical charm of foreshadowing.(More about it when we ice the cake.)

Now, our main concerns are not :

  1. Writing a Plot— since it varies from every individual writer to another.
  2. Deciding what chronological order a story would follow— since there are numerous ways to do it and again it depends on the writer and his story.

“So, what are you even talking about?”

I, my friends, am talking about sequencing the heat/the action/the happenings/the thrill/ the suspense of the whole story. The course of action in a story should gradually reach to a peak and then begin its downfall as it reaches the climax.  A story which doesn’t have ups and downs would never leave a mark on the reader. Thus here are the 4 main coordinates of a storyline.

wp-1490195363828.jpg
A poorly drawn sketch by myself.
1. Beginning / Start of a Conflict / Introduction

A beginning as shown in the sketch, doesn’t have to be a boring situation where nothing interesting happens. In fact, it has to be interesting enough to keep the readers intrigued. But in comparison to the rest of the storyline, it has to ascend the peak of interest and thus it has to be intriguing but not the highest intriguing point. A beginning or an introduction as it is called can be taking place at any moment in the actual timeline of the story, since the main motive of it is only to acquaint the readers with a conflict that will be focusing the main plot of the story.

2. Middle / Peak

The most happening part of your story is going to be the peak of activity. It could be  a situation where [In a mystery] readers will start getting clues enough to try solving a mystery on their own or [In a War based story] one battalion is about to conquer another or— well, you get the general idea. After this point, the storyline again starts to settle. Thus this is commonly associated with the middle of the story.

3. Climax

The climax is always the most intense part of anything, so why isn’t it at the end or at the peak? The reason for not keeping it at the very end is that it will leave the readers wondering what happens after it or with an unsatisfied feeling of being left at a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers are recommended only if you plan to write another extension to the story. And the reason for it to not be the peak point is that gradually decreasing the heat to an end is better than directly dropping from a high climax to a steep end. Nobody likes falling on their faces, do they?

4.End / Conclusion

Started a conflict in the beginning, remember? In the end, no matter what places your story has went throughout, it has to come back to a point and turn static. The end has to be a pavilion to closed ends. The threads that you’ve pulled out have to rest and should be taken care of. If there are questions unanswered they would rise to plot holes. And plot holes are what we have to be aware of. (BE EXTRA AWARE!) So, whenever you reach to the end of your story, check all the questions that you’ve planted in the mind of the reader and cross check if they are all answered. A story with an incomplete end is only accepted by readers if they are expecting another sequel to the story.

Once you set your plot straight you are ready to focus on the attributes of your characters and developing strong personalities. Stay tuned next week to learn about the basics of developing a character.


©The Honest Fabler

©Cover credits- Google Images

8 thoughts on “Writing Tips #3(Sequencing the Plot)

Have any opinions on the Fabler's thoughts? Feel free to tell him!