How to Write a Good Story Plot


A plot is the foundation that holds the story together. It is also the author's plan of action. Good storytelling often has a good plot. A good plot requires some method of organization. A plot is the writer's blueprint during the actual writing process, preventing some--though, not all--forms of writer's block.

  • Brainstorm. Delve into your imagination and jot ideas for your story plot. Free-writing may also be a beneficial way to brainstorm. To work more efficiently, apply a set period of time to your brainstorming session.

  • Seek out inspiration. Reading other stories is a way to understand what you like and dislike in other plots. Look around you, from current news stories and movies to groundbreaking research.

  • Choose basic characters. Some authors build characters before plot, while others build their plots first. However, having basic characters allows you to implement key players into your plot-building strategy.

  • Understand cause and effect. A plot is composed by a chain of events. Make sure your chain of events has plausible causes and effects.

  • Create rules and laws. This is especially important for science fiction or fantasy novels. If your plot does not follow simple logic (for example, time travel), establish rules and laws that remain consistent.

  • Choose a conflict. The problem or situation keeps the story interesting.

  • Pick a resolution. This is the basic ending to your story.

  • Organize. Apply your plot to a linear time line to easily show a sequence of events.

  • Apply the details. Add clever twists and turns, flashbacks or linking of a small detail in the beginning to the end of your story (for example, the first conversation in the story links to the murder at the end).

  • Write a basic synopsis of your plot.

  • Check that your plot flows smoothly and logically, while remaining consistent to the rules and laws that you have created.

  • Revise if your plot doesn't agree with you. You may even find yourself revising your plot during the actual writing process.

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