The Path To Publication Step Four: Plot Points

Plot points are something I touched briefly in my last post about pre-writing, but I decided that since it’s very complex that it would be helpful to do a more in-depth look.
Plot points, which are major turning points in your novel, can be very tricky. You want your story to go the way you want it to go, and plot points and where you place them can get in the way, because they have certain times they need to take place. But they are also very helpful in keeping your story on track.
The first plot point, for example, changes your main character’s life. The example of the first plot point I used in my last post was Harry Potter finding out he was a famous wizard in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. That was a big change, wasn’t it? Harry went from living in a cupboard under the stairs of his aunt and uncle’s house and being bullied mercilessly by his cousin, Dudley, to going to a wizard school called Hogwarts. His life would never be the same.
​The first plot point can be found around 15% to 25% of the way through your novel. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later, but no earlier than 15%, and no later than 30% of the way through.
​The second plot point occurs about half way through your novel. It usually is some sort of revelation that causes your main character to question his motives and actions during the first half of the novel.
​The third plot point ensues around the 75% mark. It usually sets up the end, and may have some revelation, like in a mystery the main character finds the final clue that solves the case. There’s some sort of conflict, and maybe even a final stand. The third plot point almost always surprises readers (and sometimes the writers).
Next Monday on The Path to Publication, I will be talking about outlining.
Elizabeth

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