If you have just landed on this page you are actually at stage two of a creative writing exercise designed to help you create an original story from scratch so I recommend before doing the exercise on this page you read this post first – how to create a story.
After reading this I suggest you then read this post – how to create a character. This has easy to follow instructions that will guide you through an easy process and help you create ten characters you can use when you return here to learn how to create a plot.
START THE PLOT – INCITING INCIDENTS
Now let’s get on with learning how to create a plot. One by one, take each of the ten characters you already created when you did this exercise here and think again about what they really want from life. Now write down an incident that you think would take what they want away from them.
Incidents like these are called inciting incidents. They must be incidents which will change your characters life, divert from their normal path and provide the starting point for their story. In other words, inciting incidents are incidents that begin to change your character’s life – for the worse!
Read your notes on character and incidents. Begin to imagine placing these characters into a conflict situation. You are drawing on the incidents and characters you have already written.
So, if you have a character who takes great pride in their job and gets on great with their boss. You could, for example, kill off the boss with a heart attack, and replace them with a very nasty boss. One who doesn’t appreciate your character and who will probably drive them to the edge of reason before either firing them or provoking your character to walk out. Here are some more examples:
- If your character is afraid of being alone, then you will place them in a situation where an incident occurs which places them alone for a long time.
- If they are afraid of being without a partner, then their partner will leave them for their best friend.
- If they are afraid of being physically and totally alone you will have them survive a plane crash only to find themselves alone on in a dense jungle.
I hope this has given you an insight into the creative process. Once you have even the smallest germ of an idea you will find that a simple process of asking the question ‘what if’ can open up a world of possibilities. Stories, conflict and plot are everywhere you look so keep your eyes open for new ideas and keep your notebook handy.
All the best