How to Plot Your Story: What the Parts Mean

Hey there!


Today we look at what each part of the plot (which we learned about in THIS post) actually is. I was actually really happy with how excited some people were about this series. πŸ˜‰ I quote from my sister Mary last Saturday evening: “I need your post. I can’t believe I just said that.”

Here are the 15 parts:


  1. Introduction
  2. Inciting Incident
  3. Some Rising Action
  4. Success!
  5. More Rising Action
  6. Slap #1
  7. More Rising Action
  8. Failure after Failure
  9. Sucess again!
  10. More Rising Action
  11. Slap #2
  12. No Hope
  13. Climax
  14. Falling Action
  15. Resolution


Let’s begin!




The introduction isn’t like an introduction to a story. A better way to say this is more like ‘introducing’. In this part, you are introducing your character. You need to let the reader meet the main character, their world, what their life is like.

The thing about this part of a plot is that you’re doing a difficult balancing act. You want to make sure you give the reader enough time to learn about the character so that they begin to root for them, but not so much that they get bored with the story and put down the book.


Inciting Incident

This is the part where the character gets thrown headlong into the action of the story. Or, a more accurate description, the deep end of the pool before they know how to swim. The inciting incident is what starts them off on their adventure, and you must leave them no choice. There is no, “Okay, I guess I’ll go.” They have no choice! None! Otherwise, it isn’t effective.


Some Rising Action

The rising action is when the action starts to rise (duh). There’s a Part 1 and Part 2 to this section.

In Part 1, the character is floundering in the pool they were thrown into. They’re reacting by instinct, by emotion.

In Part 2, they are slowly getting the hang of it (not really, just in their own mind they think so) and begin planning their motions.



The hero gets a win! Their confidence is boosted, and they stride off to do better.

Or maybe, depending on your character, they tiptoe. They can be meek but are starting to become braver at this point.


More Rising Action

The hero continues on their journey, and discover a few things about the evil villain’s plans. They react, then plan. They want to land another hit on them. The stakes are going up.


Slap #1

This is when the hero falls. Or, back to the pool analogy, they begin to sink towards the bottom. They lose all progress they’ve made. A good way to do this is by making their plan to stop the villain fail.


More Rising Action

The hero has taken some hits. They are scrambling to recover. (Maybe doggy-paddling toward the surface of the water?) They still have hope, though, and continue to fight on.


Failure after Failure

The hero continues to try and get to the surface but is pummeled on all sides by waves created by the enemy. They stay under, just below the surface. They’re running out of air. This is the try and fail stage, analogy aside.


Sucess Again!

Yay for the MC! They break through the surface and finally catch a break! They get a hit on the enemy, and win!


More Rising Action

The hero reacts to their win and then plans the next step. They’re advancing in leaps and bounds now!


Slap #2

The hero is higher than ever, and that makes the fall all the more critical. This time, they’re hitting rock bottom – or, back to the pool, the very bottom of that. They lose everything.


No Hope

It looks like the hero won’t resurface this time. There is no hope for them to make it with the way the villain is advancing toward their goal.

…or is there no hope?

There must be one small sliver. One reason to keep fighting.



The MC kicks off rock bottom and shoots for the surface, rapidly approaching a collision with the water. (If that even makes sense) The antagonist and the MC have one final, major clash that is the deciding moment of the entire novel!


Falling Action

The hero either wins or loses. The falling action is where you address this.



This is the part where you tie up loose ends and finish up the story. The hero has either won or lost, or there may be a cliffhanger.



And there you go! All 15 parts explained in detail. (The road/pool of a hero is definitely a harrowing one)



The Storm Inside Rewrite

Last Thursday, I got an amazing comment from a blogger on my other blog about how she’d bought my book and loved it. Her raving comment made me feel confused; we are both talking about the same book, right? The one I decided was so horrible that I just had to rewrite it??

I was literally pacing around the house for the next couple of minutes, my thoughts tumbling around in my head. (I’m a writer; I work better when I can put my thoughts down on paper.)

That was when I finally (mentally) shouted the word I should’ve done long ago, something that I should’ve shouted before I became so overwhelmed and stressed out and not even sure of what I’m doing anymore:


I finally slammed on the brakes and just stopped.

That was when my mom said something very wise: “Julia, we are our own greatest critic.”

This really made sense to me, and I finally began to think about The Storm Inside. Why was it so bad? What had I seen in it that made it need this rewrite so badly? It quickly became clear to me that I had looked entirely at the bad and not the good in it.

I went over the story again and ultimately decided to continue my rewrite. But now, I was looking not just at how I was going to change it, but how I could also keep it the same. I want the same theme in it, and I want the same ending and characters in it. I want to define each character’s personality better, and I want to make the plot twist in it a bit more foreshadowed. 😊

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 9.56.49 AM

How did you like this post?

Was it helpful?

What did you think about my story writing decision?





10 thoughts on “How to Plot Your Story: What the Parts Mean

  1. Interesting post! I’m curious…I know a little bit about the three-act storyline…do you know if these steps correlate with that at all?

    Also, I’m glad to hear that you were able to see the good in your book as well as the parts that needed to be fixed! It is definitely hard to see a book in a balanced light. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your revisions!


    1. Thanks! πŸ˜ƒ Yes, it does. In that structure, parts 1 to a bit of 3 would be act 1, the rest of 3 to 11 would be act 2, and 12 to 15 would be act 3.

      Yeah, same! Thank you; I’m probably going to need that. πŸ˜‚


  2. I’m liking this plotting series! Thanks so much for it!
    I think you made the right decision. If you don’t exactly like the plot of the story, you should change the plot! If you want to switch things up, do that!
    Looking forward to the next post!


    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! πŸ˜ƒ
      I’ve been working on it, but progress seems to be slow. πŸ˜› Thanks for the advice!
      Yay! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„


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