Focus on Writing Plot Points to Enhance Your Style of Writing

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Writers must understand plot points, which make their storytelling engaging to readers. If a story is overwhelmingly predictable, there will be little in which the reader can invest, and she will not stick around reading when she can spend her time with stories that solidly pique her interest.

What are other reasons to focus on writing plot points? MasterClass tells us that “Plot points are major events in a story that change the course of the plot as a whole. Often, they serve as catalysts for character development. Thus, plot points are typically exciting narrative moments in novel writing or in screenwriting that represent major turning points for your main characters.” 

For more information regarding the first plot point, MasterClass can help.

Focus on Writing Plot Points. 
The First One Will Lead to the Inciting Incident

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The inciting incident kickstarts the protagonist’s journey. It is the point of no return. An incident has happened that the main character cannot ignore and must do something about. It disrupts her daily life and catapults her into the crux of the story. Without this disruption, there is no impetus for her to set upon a journey that can be fraught with danger.

In a three-act story, the first act will usually have the setup and the inciting incident. The setup shows the reader the character’s everyday life before the crisis. The crisis or incident sets the story in motion and is the point of no return.

When learning to focus on writing plot points, know that the first act comprises about 25% of your story as does the third act. The second act then makes up about 50%. 

The first plot point occurs in the first act and the second in act two. Here’s what Wurdeman says about them:

Plot point one occurs when your protagonist makes the choice to embrace the opportunity presented by the inciting incident.

These two events—the inciting incident and plot point one—might happen one right after the other. Sometimes the protagonist goes through a period of avoidance or deliberation before deciding to go all-in. (Wurdeman)

Some sites say there are different numbers of plot points. But Wunderman relies on two. It’s important to consult more than one source to see with which idea you are more comfortable. However, they are basically saying the same thing but using different numbers for plot points.

The second plot point comes in act two after the midpoint when the protagonist finds herself in an unexpected situation. Here, she may get training for the new venture she’s on, or she could meet a mentor or new friends she’s discovered. She gears up for the task ahead.

To see more of what Wurdeman says about plot points and the three-act structure, click on the name.

Focus on Writing Plot Points by
Understanding This Example

Woman Mad At Man

The novel Disclosure by Michael Crichton shows Tom Sanders, head of product manufacturing at a computer company in his everyday life. He’s happily married, and he is eyeing a promotion he expects to get. However, this promotion goes to Meredith Johnson, someone outside the company who is also Tom’s ex-girlfriend. There is tension immediately on Tom’s end. This is still part of the setup. The crisis has yet to come.

Meredith Johnson, later that day, calls Tom into her office under the guise of discussing a company product. But she tries to resume their previous sexual relationship. Tom falls somewhat into temptation but comes to his senses and pulls away before any real intimacy occurs. Meredith doesn’t like this. He leaves but not without a fight from Meredith who vows to make him pay for rejecting her advances.

The next morning, Tom discovers that his coworkers are giving him the side eye and treating him with disdain. He discovers that Meredith has falsely accused him of sexual harassment, and his coworkers believe her. The higher-ups consider transferring Tom to another of their companies in another state. 

In other words, Tom’s life has been dismantled. He faces moving to another state where he would lose stock options which, after an upcoming expected merger, would have made him wealthy. Because of this accusation, he faces problems with his wife and the loss of friends. How can he clear his name and prove Meredith lied about him? This is the inciting incident. The plot point shows that his life is disrupted, potentially leading him into ruin. It is a highly emotional event!

Now, we have a story.

Act two proceeds with rising action and increasing tension. Tom hires a lawyer, which jeopardizes his future with the company. Further, Tom’s wife is not totally convinced of his innocence. The computer part Tom is in charge of for the company is faulty. The higher-ups and his colleagues point to Tom’s incompetence. It seems to be Tom’s fault that a merger, which everyone at his job would grant them stock options, may not happen. There is one person on the job who seems to believe him and help him. But this person is in the shadows. Who is it that’s been giving him a little cloaked information and encouragement? 

Finally, act three culminates with the resolution, which solves the problem. Tom realizes that when he was in Meredith’s office, before her advances, he had made a phone call to a friend but was unable to talk to him. However, the friend’s answering machine had recorded the entire brouhaha Tom had with Meredith. Tom had been receiving calls from this friend for days after his ordeal, but Tom didn’t take the calls because he felt that they were not as important as what he was facing. Finally, he took the call, and his friend told him that he had the conversion recorded. The recording detailed Tom’s many protestations against Meredith’s advances.

Also, he receives a video of Meredith in Malaysia, where the chips are made that Tom is in charge of. It shows that she ordered the parts to be made from cheaper materials, causing the chips to malfunction. In other words, Meredith is the cause of the poor quality chips for which Tom has been blamed. These revelations comprise the climax of the story. Tom, after a protracted struggle, has defeated the enemy. 

The action slows. Meredith is fired. Tom keeps his job. He does not, however, get the promotion and the merger does not go through. But his good name has been restored and his wife is on his side. He also discovers the shadowy figure who has been helping him through his ordeal.

Man giving thumbs up

To focus on writing plot points means you’re giving readers an in-depth understanding of how your character deals with their life’s upheaval. You see what she’s made of and how her struggle leads to her ability to overcome the obstacle if the ending is a happy one and not a tragedy. You can see how her character arc developed as growth occurred.

Now you should comprehend how pivotal plot points are in crafting a compelling narrative. These crucial elements will take priority in your knowledge of writing a solid novel or screenplay. A full understanding of plot points will demand patience and practice.

Images by Pixabay

“How to Write the First Plot Point of Your Story - 2024.” MasterClass, 19 Nov. 2021,

Wurdeman, Abi. “Three Act Structure.” Dabble, Dabble, 13 Jan. 2022,