Plot Basics: Plot Your Novel or Screenplay in Eight Sequences



There is no secret formula for plot — but there is a pattern that has proved satisfying to readers and movie-goers for years. Once you have an understanding of this underlying structure you can apply it to a novel or screenplay in any genre.

In Plot Basics you’ll see:

  • How to break down your plot into four quarters and decide what must happen in each — applying the ‘rule of three’ to give a strong through-line with rising action and suspense.
  • How to divide these into eight sequences that enable you to tell your story with maximum dramatic effect — including six major turning points plus a midpoint and a climax.
  • What individual story elements belong in each of the eight sequences and how to develop them.

You can use the eight sequences method to plot a story from scratch. Apply it to edit the first draft of a novel or screenplay you already have. Or use it to take apart a story you’ve started but which isn’t working.

When you know what needs to go where in a story, you can get on with the fun part of writing and create something for readers or movie-goers to enjoy — safe in the knowledge that your plot works.