Story Structure #9: Second Plot Point

Get ready…

Story Engineering Model (four-part story model): Second Plot Point, the turning point at the 75% mark of your story.

Again, it is time for a change of context. This time were shifting into the resolution box of our story, and our hero is becoming the martyr, the selfless heroic champion of everything good and right in the world. This is it. This is the culmination of his journey. He is becoming.

Here are the items we want to pack for the portal into the final leg of the journey:

  • End of Everything New – Right here, at the 75% mark, we will inject the final piece of new information into the story. Nothing more will come after this. This is the final piece of narrative material that will give the hero everything he needs to become the primary catalyst in the story’s conclusion. No new exposition. Nothing at all.
    • Obviously things happen after the Second Plot Point, or Part Four would be ridiculously short, but nothing new can enter into the storyline, no more plot changers.
  • -OR- This is when the chase scene begins. 🙂
  • Last Revelation – reader receives some new information here, and hero might. Again, This is the final piece of narrative material that will give the hero everything he needs to become the primary catalyst in the story’s conclusion.
    • This is just as important as the First Plot Point, but may not be as high-impact.
  • Acceleration – Again, the story is changed, the quest is accelerated – new doors are opened, new strategies hatched, new risks with more immediate rewards – we’re ramping up.
  • Something in the Air – A moment ago, everything was clicking along as usual, but now, with the advent of the Second Plot Point, our reader can smell the ending, even if it is still hidden. Like rain moving in, he knows we are coming to the end.
  • Catalyst for Change of Context – Second Plot Point takes us from attack mode into our resolution, but our hero is also transformed here from his warrior self to his martyr self, ready to do whatever it takes, despite his own personal safety. His mission is now his number one priority, for real.
    • Each of our Plot Points (First, Mid-, Second) are context shifts.
      • Our story focus goes from:
        • Setup -> Response -> Attack -> Resolution
      • And our hero goes from being:
        • Orphan -> Wanderer -> Warrior -> Martyr
    • Think of them as the thick poles of a heavy teepee, 3 essential to stability.
      • Remember that plot twists can be anywhere, but MUST be at these designated spots!

This is the final twist. This is the last opportunity to pull out all the stops. It is worth repeating that whatever we give our hero here is everything they need to become the primary catalyst in the story’s conclusion. That means, just to be clear, that no one else, nothing else, is able to conquer the story problem, only the hero. We’ll touch on this again next time. It’s important. For now, it is enough to know that we need to give our hero the tools/knowledge/gusto he needs right now, at the Second Plot Point. This might require some forward thinking *gasp*.

Here’s a slightly more abbreviated outline of the Second Plot Point and its missions, all in a neat little pdf package, complete with space for you to make some notes on your own story: Four-Part Story Structure – Second Plot Point (#6)

To view a chronological listing of the posts in this series, continue below:

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