This week I dissected key elements of plotting that can elevate your writing.
First: structure, looking into both three-act and five-act formats. These act as the skeleton of your story, giving it form and support. Knowing how to effectively utilize these structures can help in distributing the weight of your plot points, character development, and thematic elements evenly throughout your story.
Next up was the discussion on subplots. Subplots are those side stories or minor arcs that feed into the main plot or the development of your characters. These can offer alternate viewpoints, build tension, or simply add depth to the world you’re creating. Like spices in a meal, subplots should be used carefully to enhance, not overpower, the main storyline.
Third up was pacing, that invisible heartbeat of a story that can make or break reader engagement. Pacing is about timing, the art of knowing when to sprint and when to pause for breath. Get it right, and your readers will be turning pages long into the night; get it wrong, and you risk either rushing through important moments or dragging the reader into tedium.
Lastly, we explored the realm of character-driven plots, using Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” as a case study. In such stories, it’s the internal world—the hopes, fears, and conflicts—of your characters that propel the action. This approach offers a deeply emotional and psychological perspective that adds layers of complexity to your narrative.
I hope each of these posts was helpful to you!
Have a look at this simple fill-in-the-blank page to analyze and dissect your own plot and plotting issues.