Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

First Plot Point is a Humdinger

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Aug• 16•16

fulcrumPlot Points are your linchpin scenes and there is no story without them.A plot point is a fulcrum and here it shifts the story from one act to the next. They’re planted periodically in a novel or screen play and push the story forward.

›Act 1 sets up the story then closes with a plot point. Kaboom!

›It will occur at about the 25% mark in your manuscript and it needs to charge the whole shebang going forth.

›This event ends the set up and the protagonist crosses over into new territory and becomes locked into the conflict. Sometimes this is called crossing the threshold or the point of no return. The first plot point is a milestone and changes everything.Linchpin

›Here are some characteristics of the first plot point:

  • There is no turning back. A plot point is a one-way gate.
  • ›The protagonist is often forced to make a choice or decision and this decision is life changing.
  • ›It might start a clock ticking, time running out.
  • ›The protagonist crosses a threshold—might leave home, accept a job or assignment,get handed a new case, somehow leaves his comfort zone.  Stories exist to send protagonist’s into new emotional, physical territory.
  • The central dramatic question is established if it hasn’t been already.
Godfather assination attempt

The Godfather assassination attempt

Plan for mega wattage.

›Many experts consider the 1st Plot Point the most important event in your story. So plan carefully for maximum wattage and fallout/repercussions.

  • ›This importance is based on the change (usually undesired) in the protagonist’s plans, status, future, desire, goals…..
  • ›It always delivers conflict or sets up conflict.
  • It happens when your protagonist is off balance.

The curtain falls and the story moves into Act 2.  (thanks for the opportunity to use humdinger at least once before I die.)

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