Surprises While Plotting

I’ve been having a lot fun plotting my latest idea and I think I’m around the halfway part of it or the mid-point. As defined by Larry Brooks, author of Story Engineering:

New information that enters the story squarely in the middle of it, that changes the contextual experience and understanding of either the reader, the hero, or both.

James Scott Bell likes to call these Doorways of No Return. Once through that threshold, there’s no going back.

I had a mid-point in mind before I started plotting. It satisfied all the criteria, but as I shaped the story more, I came to a point where something major needed to happen. I wasn’t at my mid-point yet, but the way the story was going, I was headed for a Doorway of No Return.

I loved my first idea and was all set to plot it . . . until I realized it was mighty similar to the climax of my first act. Way to raise the stakes, Andrew. So, without thinking about the implications, I tried to come up with something bigger that also brought in new information. The result was a plot twist I wasn’t expecting and I’m not quite sure where to go from here. That’s today’s assignment. Should be fun!

2 comments on “Surprises While Plotting

  1. Don’t you love surprises? LOL

    It’s really funny how that mid point thing works. There was a turning point in the scene I just wrote last night, and it looks like it’s actually going to be around the mid point of the book. I wonder if things like that come naturally in the middle sometimes.

    I can’t wait to read what you’re writing. 🙂

    • I suppose it depends on your method. Before I outline, I like to my major plot points figured out. In your case, since you pants, it’s probably more natural.

      I think when I read James Scott Bell’s book, he said that we naturally think in three act structures because that’s how life is. I know it makes my brain feel good when I can see the three distinct parts to a story.

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