Characters, Plot, Scenes

How to Create a Fool-Proof Plot in Just 4 Steps

You’re writing an incredibly epic scene, the tension is amping up…but for some reason, it’s dragging.

That’s because the plot is missing something. But what?

Today I’m going to be sharing with you 4 simple steps to boost your plot up like nothing else.

Let’s get started!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

1. Impending Doom

Something horrible is going to happen.

Not only that, but something horrible that is personal to the protagonist is going to happen.

It’s not going to be some random horrible event like: “a person is going to die”. Instead, it’s going to be the protagonist’s best friend who’s gunna die.

All of a sudden, it becomes sickeningly real to the protagonist, and he realizes…he has to do something about this.

BOOM. You have a plot.


2. Ticking Time Bomb

You have a plot. Great! But now you need a time limit.

Their best friend is going to die. But when? How long do they have? Thirty days? A month? A year? Or does the book start and end with their best friend living his last day of life?

Any number will be terrifying. Just the fact that there’s a set-in-stone number makes it feel real. Suddenly the protagonist is going: “Wow, this is actually going to happen.” And, “I have to stop this before it’s too late!

And if he doesn’t, the ticking time bomb will count down the days until everything explodes, and things will become even worse than they were before. 

3. Unless… 

He will die in 30 days unless you do THIS.

The world will end in one week unless you do THIS.

And do you know what this ‘unless’ part is? It’s your book

Let’s say the protagonist’s best friend is going to die in 30 days. The protagonist is in denial-he will not let this happen. 

But what can he do?

He researches and does a lot of work and finds a really special hospital which sounds perfect for saving his friend! Yay, he can be saved! That’s your unless. It’s the protagonist’s hope.

But is it that easy?

4. Add Conflict

Answer: No. No it is not. Because we are evil writers.


No conflict, no story.

Life isn’t about prancing around with rainbow unicorns and eating cupcakes everyday.



Instead, life is full of trials that test us with each turn, and the same goes for your characters. They now have 30 days to heal their best friend before he dies unless they can get him to a special hospital.

But wait, there’s more!

  • That hospital just so happens to be on the other side of the world.
  • And the best friend can hardly move.
  • And the hospital costs thousands of dollars.
  • And the protagonist and best friend are really poor people. 

On and on, just pile the conflict and problems on suddenly: WHAM. You realize. You’ve got a plot. A story. A book.

In just 4 steps.Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

This is how you make a plot: The character has to stop something horrible from happening (plot) in a certain amount of time (pages) unless the character does something (story/book).

The protagonist isn’t going to sit around and hope life gets better.

He’s going to be thrown headfirst into this problem which is very personal to him. It’s a mess of pain and failures, but soon it begins to dawn on him: if he doesn’t do this, the only other outcome is going to be tragically painful.

*Also, thank you to a long ago response made on one of my surveys where someone said ‘And getting to the point of the book instead of having my character’s linger at the ice cream shop’. I hope this helped you!

Like these posts? Wanna have more? Subscribe to my email list to receive inside info and lots of fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!


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How to Create a Fool-Proof Plot in Just 4 Steps

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