Adding More to a Plot...?

by Arianna

Question: My plot is clearly laid out, not in detail, though, so I can still change things about it as long as the goal at the end gets achieved. I was writing this really action-packed scene today and I suddenly found myself thinking about how close my story was coming to an end. I want some down time before the climax of my story, which hits right before the very end of the book. Although to call it down time really isn't to say what I mean.

Essentially what I want is to just have some space and have some more things happen before the end of the book comes along. I feel that there just NEEDS to be more...

I can't explain it well.

Anyway. I feel that there just needs to be more to the book than the plot I have currently scheduled for it, but I'm not sure exactly how to organize it. I mean, really, how many times can you put your MC in jeopardy of losing their goal before it becomes tiresome for the reader? Even if the reader is engaged in action while that happens, they'll get bored, they'll want to see a goal achieved, that's what the reader WANTS. But at the same time, I can't just rush into the resolution because the reader would feel cheated.

I just need some help organizing my plot a little better and knowing when it's right to start toning things down.

Thanks. :)

Sorry about my wording... sometimes I'm not very articulate about my thoughts... hahaha :D Thank you anyway.

Answer: If you've developed all four throughlines, there are actually four separate crises that should be reached in your third act.

1. The overall crisis, which decisively determines whether or not the story goal will be achieved.

2. The main character's crisis, where the main character decides how to resolve his/her inner conflict - whether or not to change. Usually this occurs before the overall crisis can be resolved, since the main character's decision determines whether he/she will be able to achieve the story goal.

3. The impact character's crisis, which has the biggest impact on the main character.

4. The relationship crisis or "black moment," where the relationship between the main and impact characters hits an impasse that seems irreconcilable.

In most novels, you will make each of these into a sequence of scenes, so the build to each crisis starts somewhere, gets more complicated, faces a moment of truth, and then is resolved (positively or negatively).

You can weave or braid these sequences any way you like. For instance, if you want a break from the overall throughline, switch to one of the other throughlines for a while, or several other, before coming back to it.

If you have a subplot, you may choose to bring it to a crisis in this act as well. So you could tell that story before getting to the overall crisis.

Finally, I agree that if your MC keeps facing the same type of challenges it can seem repetitive. Try to give the MC a different type of challenge in each act.

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