Plotting Your Story Arc


Many of the writers I know and regularly talk to are pantsers, refusing to plot or outline their stories, opting to let it come as they go. It’s typically my go-to plan as well, although I admit to doing some very basic outline plotting lately, more to get down ideas that come to me while I’m working on other projects.

Regardless, I think both pantsers and plotters need to take the time to plot out your basic story arc. It could be as simple as: This is my character in the beginning. This is what’s going to happen to them. This is how it’s resolved. This is how it all ends.

Obviously you’d be better off making it a bit more detailed, but even basic will be helpful so you know what you’re working towards.   It could help keep the dreaded writer’s block at bay if you at least know the direction the story is headed.

There are a lot of diagrams out there that can help you to plot things as well. If you Google you can find them for specific kinds of stories as well, but I did some for you to save time.

Do you use a diagram to plot? Do you have one you’d recommend to others?

This is the typical Disney story arc.

This is the typical Disney story arc.

Basic line graph by page number to give you an idea of what should happen when.

Basic romance story arc

Typical Hero Arc

Typical Hero Arc

Staircase diagram.

Staircase diagram.

Basic story arc

Basic story arc


3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Arcs, Not Arc of the Covenant | A Writer's Convenient Truth

  2. Pingback: Writing with a Timeline Outline | A Girl Who Writes

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