How do you write a story where the plot actually leads to the right place, and doesn’t go haywire? How do you have relevant beginning and end scenes?
Today I’m going to be sharing with you guys three techniques that all build off of each other in a way that’ll help you create not only a straight plot, but a beginning and ending scene that have a purpose.
Let’s get started!
1. Start at the Middle
The first time I heard of this idea, I wasn’t very impressed…until I learned more and realized how genius it is!
The reason why you need to start plotting from the middle of your book is so that, no matter what crazy things happen while writing,
and yeah we always know they do, it’ll all the scenes will line up straight as you’re writing them, and all of a sudden BOOM, just like that, it’s a lot harder to stray from your plot now that you have a goal in mind!
When I say ‘the middle’ it probably sounds randomly placed. But it’s not. Something I’ve learned very recently is that the middle is actually ‘The Moment of Truth’.
Your entire story’s purpose is to get your character from his normal world full of lies, to the moment where he’ll change and become a better person in life! (or worse, in some cases).
Which is exactly what you need to lead up to.
Which means it’s the exact place to start.
2. Question to Answer
I found this method recently when reading one of K.M Weiland’s posts.
One of her tips for plotting is this:
If you think of your beginning as a question, then the ending is the answer.
In the beginning, we read about how the protagonist is struggling with his Lie, and, whether we know it or not, we’re actually questioning what will happen to him, wondering how this Lie will effect his life.
And at the end, we have our answer.
The Lie has affected and shattered the protagonist’s life, but he changed for better or worse, and now we know our answer!
3. Mirroring Scenes
This last trick is also a super cool one! I believe I’ve mentioned it before in some random post, but now I’m going to go into more detail on it.
The very first scene that you ever see the protagonist should give a clear example of his Lie, showing off exactly what’s wrong with his life, whether the protagonist knows it or not.
And then your last scene is going to be a mirror of the first, except this time it will show your protagonist living his life now changed, believing the Truth!
Let’s just come up with a quick example: The protagonist’s Lie is that money = happiness. His Truth is the realization that no money in the world can ever give him true happiness, but being kind to others does.
Something along the lines of that.
Anyway, in the first scene, let’s just say the rich guy is strutting around town when he happens to pass by some poor orphans. They beg for money, but instead he yells at them to scram.
Then, after being ripped from his Normal World into a whirl-wind of pain that us evil writers so love to bestow upon our characters, BOOM, he changes! Now he realizes that he’s truly happy by making others happy. Yay, now our question is answered.
But let’s see that question put into action.
He goes home and in the morning and takes a quiet stroll around town, when some orphans come up to him and ask for some money for food. He hands them money, whispers kind words to them, and watches as they buy themselves food. Later on he donates to orphanages and helps those around him in need, finding himself truly happy.
Thank you, thank you. *bows*
But did you notice the mirror scenes? Depending on how long your book is, your readers might not actually remember the beginning scene by the time the ending rolls around, but I’m sure a part of their brain will, and they’ll feel more satisfied with their question not only answered, but proven in the last scenes as you show, not tell them.
And there you have it! 3 unique, super-effective techniques to having not only a cohesive plot, but a solid beginning and ending as well. I hope you try them out, because after I did my plot immediately felt a lot more secure.
Have you heard of any of these techniques before?
Curious to try them out?
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!