Plotting · Story · tips · Writing

Plot Structure: The First Act

First Act.png

Today we are going to be talking about plot structure. Most people don’t want to learn about plot structure but it is a crucial part in writing stories. As you might already know, the most typical way people structure their stories is by using the three act structure, the first act of which I will be going over today.

The Hook

When coming up with your hook, don’t rush it. This is your one and only chance to grab your readers’ attention and convince them to keep on reading the story you put so much work into. Some things that you should include in your opening scene are:

  • Show the character in everyday life
  • Demonstrate how the character currently deals with everyday conflict
  • Depending on his/her character arc, have the character show that they are unsatisfied with something in their life
  • Set up setting
  • Set up the tone of your story

The Inciting and Key Events

Oftentimes, the Inciting and Key events get confused, but I’m here to help. These events can occur anywhere within the first act, though the Inciting event can even occur before the novel starts. This is because the Inciting is what kickstarts the main plot. For example, in a detective story, the Inciting event would be when the crime occurs. Another example is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan where the Inciting event is when someone steals Zeus’ lightning bolt.

If the Inciting event is what kickstarts the main plot, then the Key event is how your character gets involved in that plot. Keep in mind that this event needs to happen within your story as it explains why your character is going on this journey in the first place. So in a detective story, it would be when the detective takes on the job of finding out who committed the crime.

The First Plot Point

This point occurs at around the 25% point of your novel and is often known as the point of no return as the character is launched into their adventure with an event that, for them, will be life-altering. Oftentimes, but not always, the character’s surroundings will change; but the one thing that is a must is that your character needs to be able to react to it–strongly. Because that first initial reaction marks the beginning of the second act.

Please comment below if this post helped. Happy writing!



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