Story Engineering by Larry Brooks-The First Plot Point

Writing-the craft by Cindy

I can't believe it's already Friday. School starts Monday. I so don't want to see my two cute daughters go out that door Monday morning.... As you can see, I was supposed to post this last Friday. Duh!

Larry says the first plot point is the most important moment in your story.

Some guidelines
  • It can't come too early or it becomes an inciting incident
  • It must define the hero's need and quest going forward
  • It is the bridge between parts 1 and 2
  • It shifts the story from setup mode to response mode
  • It is dependant on location and context shift
He emphasizes the power of the first plot point
  • The story begins with it
  • It is the call for the hero to do something he wasn't doing before
  • It defines the hero's journey and goal for the remainder of the story
  • It makes things more real and meaningful, thus forcing the hero to go after it.
But, something stands in the hero's way-inner or outer demons-that keep him from his goal

He describes the nature of the first plot point
  • It can be huge or simple, but it must change everything
  • It gives the hero a new quest or need
  • The reader must empathize with hero
A summary of the first plot point
  • What the hero thought was true may not be
  • The stakes for the hero are on the table now
  • It begins the hero's new quest in pursuit of this need.
  • It hooks the reader
Some questions for you:

What is your first plot point?

Is it in the right place?

Does it define and shift the need and quest of the hero?

Does it create and clarify the stakes?

Does it imply consequences?

Is there sudden risk and opposition that wasn't there moments before?

Happy first plot point analyzing!