10 Ways to Move Your Plot Forward


  1. Start with a detailed biography of your protagonist and antagonist.
  2. List the changes you’re going to inflict on these two characters.
  3. Start your book when something meaningful happens. This is called the inciting moment. It should be shocking, exciting, and interesting.
  4. Never start with backstory.
  5. Create conflict that counts from page one.
  6. Show motivation. Great characters want to achieve their goals more than anything and will pursue them at any cost. What are your characters most afraid of losing? Make them fight for it. Desperately. Irrationally.
  7. Tell a story in scenes. Scenes hold a story together. The number of scenes depends on your chosen genre, and your novel’s length.
  8. You should have one plot, and one sub-plot.
  9. Your characters need problems and reasons to solve them.
  10. Fiction needs a Dark Night of the Soul. Move your story to the moment when things look impossibly bleak for your protagonist. This is usually a chapter or two before the endof your book.

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

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. A Tense Situation – Five Tips To Help You Write A Gripping Read
  2. 12 Crucial Things To Remember About Setting
  3. How To Write A Beginning And An Ending That Readers Will Never Forget

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