Friday, April 16, 2010

Plotting Questionnaire

In previous posts, I’ve talked about setting up a strong conflict and building tension through the middle of your story. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of everything, so here’s a simple plot questionnaire. At least, the list of questions is simple – finding all the answers may be a challenge! But this can help you make sure you have all the necessary elements in a current story, or help you flesh out an idea for a new story.

Plotting Questionnaire:

  • Who is the main character?
  • Who or what is the antagonist? (The person, group, or situation causing trouble for the main character.)
  • Who are the other people in the story?
  • What does the main character want? (What’s his or her problem, goal, greatest need.)
  • Why is this important? (It should be vital.)
  • How does the antagonist prevent the main character from reaching his/her goal?
  • What does the main character do about this?
  • What are the results? (Things should get worse, the problem more difficult.)
  • [Repeat the last two several times]
  • What crisis finally results?
  • What is the climax? (Moment of decision.)
  • What is the resolution? Is the goal accomplished, or abandoned in favor of something else, or lost?
  • What is the theme?

Visit Blockbuster Plots for Writers for an interesting test that shows whether your writing is more character driven or plot driven.

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