31 Days of Plot Building – Wordsnstuff January 2019 Writing Challenge

– This is the third installment of my three part series, dedicated to writing longer stories. I look forward to seeing all of your guys’ responses on Tumblr using the hashtag #wordsnstuffplotbuilding and over on Instagram, where you can tag me @/writingandsuch.

This challenge begins on January 1st, so 24 hours from when I am posting this. You’re free to do one day’s challenge on another day if your schedule doesn’t allow enough time to complete that day’s challenge. Best of luck to you!

If you have any questions/comments/concerns you can leave questions in my ask box or send them via this page.

☼ Prompt List ☼

  1. What point of view will you be writing from and why?
  2. Is your novel part of a series? What do you need to plan in order to make it all tie nicely together?
  3. How does each main character serve the progression of the plot?
  4. What genre(s) does your story fit into, and to what extent?
  5. Briefly outline each major subplot in your story, and include their role in pushing the main conflict forward.
  6. How is each character involved in each subplot?
  7. How will each subplot be concluded and at what point in the story?
  8. How does the main conflict frame the message of the story?
  9. What elements of the plot serve as symbols or motifs?
  10. What tone is conveyed throughout the majority of the story?
  11. How do you want the reader to feel when they put down the story?
  12. What major events in the plot serve mostly to develop characters, and how will they accomplish this?
  13. What events in the plot change relationships between characters, either minutely or in a major way?
  14. Describe the personal perspective of the narrator of the story. If it is being narrated, describe the authorial voice the narrator is taking on.
  15. Create a visual model of the structure of your plot, including specification of the major plot points. (Here are 21 examples.)
  16. Pitch your plot to a publisher in 3 sentences or less. Be sure to include what makes your story different than anything they’ve ever seen.
  17. What are the top five obstacles your protagonist faces? How about the antagonist?
  18. What are the main complications or twist in the plot? How do these complications effect your characters and/or their motivations?
  19. How will your conflict cause character growth?
  20. What subplots, plot points, or characters could you remove without sacrificing a smooth plot progression?
  21. Are there any big reveals? If they’re simply there to shock the reader, cut them. If not, state the extent of their purpose to the plot.
  22. Are there any plot points that a reader would look back on in retrospect and recall making more sense now that they’ve read the ending? What are they?
  23. What is the climax of your story, and how does it change the direction of the conflict resolution?
  24. How is the conflict resolution meant to impact your reader’s personal perspective? How will you make sure it does this using events in the story?
  25. What element has endured the most change by the end of the story, and how is this beneficial to conveying the story’s message?
  26. Compare the plot structure of your book to your three favorite books, or your biggest inspiration for it. Assess whether you’ve been inspired, or you’ve subconsciously projected it onto your own work. 
  27. In what places within the plot can you add tension, and how?
  28. Calculate how much time passes between the beginning of your story and the end. Is this timeframe reasonable for the type of story you’re trying to tell, or could you lengthen/shorten it to make it better?
  29. Go through the scenes you have so far, and determine whether each one is plot or character driven. There should be a healthy balance of both, so decide where changes may be necessary to even them out.
  30. What is the inciting incident of your story, and why should this make the reader care what happens next?
  31. Share your outline with 15 people and ask them if it reminds them of anything else. If they reply with a yes, you may have taken too much inspiration from something, or your plot may contain too many tropes.

You’re welcome to share your outlines with me (wordsnstuff.com@gmail.com)

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