Basic Plot Structure - 5 Plotting Moments That Matter

Basic Plot Structure – 5 Plotting Moments That Matter


Use these 5 plotting moments that matter to start outlining your book.

There is a basic plotting structure to most stories.

A good story opens with a protagonist whose life has been turned upside down in a negative way (1) by an antagonist. This is known as the Inciting Moment.

This causes problems for the protagonist. The protagonist has to react to this challenge and solve the problem (2). The problem is not solved and becomes more complicated (3). The main character tries again. This attempt also fails and the problem worsens.

This leads to a ‘dark night of the soul’ (4) where it seems as if the antagonist will win. The protagonist tries again and solves the problem. The story ends (5).

Remember that plots are made up of beginnings, middles, and endings. Point 1 is found in the beginning. Points 2-4 are found in the middle. Point 5 is found in the end.

MUST-READ: What Is A Plot? – A Writer’s Resource

Basic Plot Structure – 5 Plotting Moments That Matter

This is plotting at its most basic. You will have to flesh out the plot from this simple formula. We know from teaching our course, Writers Write, that most writers haven’t even thought out these five points before they decide to write a book.

We would suggest that you use it as a starting point.

If you enjoyed this, read:

  1. What Is A Plot? – A Writer’s Resource
  2. The Secret To Writing A Great Plot Twist
  3. The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book
  4. 6 Sub-Plots That Add Style To Your Story
  5. How To Write A One-Page Synopsis

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Richard

    I don’t really believe it. But I have it somewhere in my novel. I’m up to Chapter 6, now. It’s going good.

  2. hanna

    this is the best course

  3. Bri

    So how do I apply these plot points? And once I do, how do I carry it forward to the next stages and to the finish? And what are said stages?

  4. Writers Write

    Dear Bri
    You would build your book around these points.
    If you are in South Africa, you could attend our course. If not, we will have an online course available soon.

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