Basic Plot Points

Welcome to part 3 of the series on plot structure. We’re at the point where we’ll finally get into the different plot structures and discuss what makes them unique and how they fit into the other structures.

We’ll start with the first two the Basic and Seven Point structures. The Basic Plot Points use the simple Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3 division. The beginning is, of course, the beginning of the story and Act 1 of the sequence. The First Major Plot Point is at the 25% point and is the event that leads from Act 1 into Act 2.

The Midpoint is the turning point of the entire story and is ideally located at the 50% point and divides Act 2 into two parts, but that is covered in later structures. This the basic structure the Midpoint is consider the Second Major Plot Point.

The Third Major Plot Point is located at the 75% point and separates Act 2 and Act 3. Act 3 is the Ending of your story where everything ratchets up and contains the climax and End of your story. The End is considered the last plot point in the Basic Plot Points Structure.

The basic structure has Five story structure points that fit into the Aristotle story structure.

  1. Beginning
  2. First Major Plot Point at the 25% story point. Ends Act 1 and propels the Hero into Act 2
  3. Midpoint at the 50% story point. Turning point of the story.
  4. Third Major Plot Point at the 75% story point. Ends Act 2 and propels the Hero into Act 3
  5. The End

Seven Point Story Structure

The next step in story structure comes from the website WritersToAuthors.com, and the article is located here:

Hook: This story structure adds the Hook at the beginning of the story and says the hook should come as soon as possible, preferably before the 1/8th point of the story, (before the 12.5% point in the story).

First Plot Point: 20% to 25% into the story. The place where the story takes off and the hero cannot turn back.

Examples are: If the hero doesn’t leave town he will die, if he doesn’t go after the treasure his mother will lose her home, if the hero stays, he will continue to be bullied by his guardians and not become a wizard.

This structure also adds two new story points, Pinch Point 1, at the 3/8th point in the story (37.5%), and Pinch Point 2, at the 5/8th point in the story (62.5%).

Pinch Point 1: Writerstoauthors.com say a pinch point one is a way to put pressure on your hero to move them forward in the story and show what is threating the hero.

Larry Brooks from Storyfix.com say, “Show us the bad guy again – the same thing that appears at the First Plot Point – in his full glory.” If your hero is being tracked by demons, show the demons destroying things in their way– show just how nasty they can be.

Midpoint: like the previous structure it comes in the middle of the story and is a turning point in the story, usually the direction the main character is heading and a change in the character themselves.

Pinch Point 2: Show how the antagonist has grown in strength, power, cunning. Show the reader just how powerful and menacing they have become and how mush of a threat they are to the Hero.

Plot Point 2: All the clues, all the pieces to the weapon, all the pieces to the treasure map, everything needed to win seems to have come together and pushes the hero into the third act. Once past this point there is no turning back, no giving up, for the hero. It is win or die.

Resolution: The final new part to this structure is the Resolution of the story. Tie up all major plot lines. A few loose ends are acceptable, but all the major ones need to be satisfied to the reader.

Click here to download a copy of the excel spreadsheet


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The books below I have found extremely helpful in understand plot. I have listed them in the order of I found most helpful left to right. Hope they help you as much as they did me. If there are any resources you have found helpful please share with everyone.


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Story Structure Series Part 2

Story Structure Series Part 4