As writers, we all have different processes and preferences. I happen to be really drawn to structure. I tend to be way more productive when I know what to expect. For that reason, I enjoy plotting. So today, here are some ways to plot your story. Take what you will and find what works best for you. 

1. Sketching – Sketching out the main parts of your story is a great way to start the writing process. This will allow you to figure out the bones of the story. Here are some of the things you can sketch out:

-Main Character

-Status Quo


-Inciting Incident

-Important Developments



Once you’ve done this, you can flesh it out even more by adding the smaller details to the story. You can do this as much or as little as you need to write your first draft. 

2. Plot Structure – I wasn’t really sure what to call this one because it’s basically just summarizing the main elements of the story. 

-Main Plot

-Subplot 1

-Subplot 2



All you do is write about what happens in each of these categories in only 1-2 sentences. Doing this will keep you from elaborating too much on one element (which I know might sound a little counter-productive, but it will actually help you think more clearly about all the elements instead of just focusing on one). *One thing to remember about subplot is that it must bear on the protagonist’s ability to achieve their goal/s. If it doesn’t, it should be revised or removed. 

3. 3 Act Structure 

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 7.29.36 AM

This structure is basically a structure for your structure. I personally really like using it because it helps me with pacing.  Here’s how it works:

– The first 1/4 of your story is Act 1. 

– The middle (which is 2/4 of the story) is Act 2. 

– The last 1/4 of your story is Act 3. 

Act 1 includes the setup: exposition, inciting incident, and plot point one. Act 2 includes confrontation: Rising action, midpoint, and plot point two. Act 3 includes the resolution: pre-climax, climax, and denouement. 

Well, there you have it. Those are just a few ways to plot your story. Let me know how you plot your story!

Happy Writing,

K.W. Riley

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