Sketching Out Your Main Plot Points

Just like an architect doesn’t start building a house without a blueprint, a writer shouldn’t dive into a story without sketching out the main plot points. Otherwise, you might end up with a literary equivalent of a house with three kitchens and no bathrooms. Trust me; it’s not a pretty sight.

Understanding Your Plot: The Basics

A plot is the backbone of your story. It’s what gives it structure and direction. It’s not just what happens but how it all connects and builds toward a climactic moment. A good plot is like a roller coaster ride; it has its ups and downs, twists and turns, all leading to a thrilling climax and a satisfying resolution.

How to Identify Your Main Plot Points

Identifying your main plot points is like map reading for your story; it shows you where to start, where to finish, and the major stops in between. Think of the opening scene, the introduction of the conflict, key turning points, the climax and the resolution. Each is a signpost guiding you (and your reader) on the journey.

Why Sketching Out Your Main Plot Points Matters

Plot sketching isn’t just doodling in your notebook. It’s like laying out stepping stones across a river. Without them, you might find yourself waist-deep in the soggy marsh of “what comes next?” With them, you can hop from one plot point to another, knowing exactly where you’re headed.

The Art of Sketching: How to Visualize Your Plot Points on a Storyboard

Visualizing your plot points on a storyboard allows you to see your story’s flow and dynamics. It’s like having a bird’s eye view of your plot landscape. You can use note cards, sticky notes or a digital tool. The key is to keep it flexible and editable as the story evolves.

Sketching Out a Storyboard

It’s easy once you get used to implementing it. Let’s do a step-by-step of how I get started.

  1. Take a blank piece of paper (or open a new file in OneNote or Google Docs).
  2. Write the start and end of your story on opposite sides.
  3. Start filling in with major events or turning points.
  4. Move them around as you see fit to serve the story.
  5. See how it all connects? Now you’ve got a storyboard!

Tips and Tricks for an Effective Plot Sketching

  • Keep it flexible. The story will evolve, and so will your sketch.
  • Use keywords instead of detailed sentences.
  • Include characters’ emotional arcs along with the events.

With a sketched-out plot, you’re no longer wandering in the dark. You have a plan, a map and a clear view of your story’s journey.