Friday Fix (Craft): The First Plot Point

Last week we discussed how to set up your story and what elements to include in the setup. Today we’re going to explore what is called the First Plot Point of your story. This First Plot Point occurs at the end of the setup, just before you enter the second of the four parts of your story. 

The First Plot Point is that point in your story where you make clear who or what is the antagonistic in your story. It is that point where the main character becomes aware of her enemy or of the serious threat her enemy poses. As Larry Brooks points out in his outstanding book, Story Engineering, the First Plot Point is “the first time the hero (and the reader) actually gets a notion of the nature and extent of the opposing force” (p. 150). In other words, the First Plot Point clearly defines the conflict of your story as it will be played out between your protagonist and your antagonist.

The First Plot Point also serves as the transition point between Part One of your story and Part Two. The First Plot Point occurs at the end of the first quarter of your story. 

Take a look at your current work-in-progress (WIP). Do you have a First Plot Point? Does your First Plot Point occur about one-quarter of the way into your story? Does your First Plot Point clearly define the conflict between your main character and his chief adversary?

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Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

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