Eight Easy Steps

Dear Readers:

Discovering I was a plotter in the writing arena was the first and easiest step. Where to next? Try fitting my story into the formula called the Eight Point Plotting Method. The class reading assignment listed the eight steps that would get my heroine from her decision to run away to the conclusion that she had met the love of her life. Along the way I had to set the tone of her story with the inciting incident. It had to include the setting and introduction of key characters, putting them in hot water with a clear-cut problem. Next, as the joke goes, “that’s where the trouble started.” I needed to describe the escalating troubles. About now my people needed the think they were home free aka the resting point. Au contraire, they are immediately hit with the major crisis, shattering all hopes of success. Just when they think things can’t get worse, they do, as the black moment bowls them over. But ah ha! the turnaround surfaces which masquerades as a solution to all the problems. Fooled again, the climax arrives to force a success (the smiling mask of comedy)or failure (the frowning face of tragedy.) Everyone takes a breather as the denouement ties up all the loose ends. The end. Did you know that every book and script follows these eight steps? Neither did I. That is, until I started looking for them. Knock me over with a feather. Where have I been my entire reading and viewing life? The plot thickens.

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