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Plotting your story either it is fiction or non-fiction is simple and easy to follow. To qualify as a story there must be incidents: a chain of events. There must be a crisis to be resolved; action to follow. There must be a plot.
Here are some good points to consider when plotting your story.
The majority of stories by new writers fail because they don’t have enough plot or a plot that is not strong enough to sustain interest. Sometimes, writers will have the beginning of a plot. Their character faces a problem but it is trivial and quickly overcome. There is no drama.
To hold the reader’s attention your hero must face a crisis or dilemma that demands his immediate and full attention. Overcoming it should be tricky or awkward. Not overcoming it will have serious repercussions. There is a strong likelihood he will fail. And the solution he devices has to be unexpected and ingenious.
A common error is to confuse the basic set-up of the story – the opening crisis or situation – with the plot. The plot is what happens from there – how the events unfold.
A good basic structure looks like this: (1) Introduction – main character faces a worrying conflict/problem/dilemma, (2) Middle – in flashback we learn of the background and events that led up to the conflict and (3) Ending – the conflict is satisfactorily resolved.
Another workable structure is to have a hero who has a goal he desperately needs to achieve – and then put obstacles in his way.