How To Plot Your Story

Structure is discipline. It is the most important element in writing a story. A good story always has a strong line of dramatic action; it goes somewhere, and moves forward, step by step, toward the resolution.


A story without structure wanders around, searching for itself, and is dull and boring.

It doesn’t work. It has no direction, no line of development.

You have to now make sense of it all; have a strong line of dramatic action to captivate and challenge the reader of the screenplay, and the audience who will eventually watch your film.

You must know your story before you can write anything. More importantly, you must know the structural components that hold your story together.

It’s where the right-brain subconscious and unconscious writing and thinking are whipped into order by the rigid, uncompromising left-brain consciousness.

  • The Conscious Mind is the home of the Ego. It’s a temple of learning and thinking, aquiring knowledge. As it acquires more knowledge, it becomes arrogant and opinionated. It loves to be in control.
  • The Subconscious Mind is the temple of feeling, the house of music, art and religion. It fosters writing with imagination. The Mind sees pictures and the senses are in full bloom. It has many answers.
  • The Unconscious Mind flows freely and richly, bringing at demand all the treasures of memory, emotions, incidents, events, characters and relationships stored in the past.

The writer’s instinctive and rebellious creative nature is tamed and ordered so that chaos becomes organised.

The writer’s creative self and rational self,  team up to unify the story and present the best of both possible worlds; one where imaginative and unique scenarios come to life in a well-thought-out master plan, where the writer is master and slave to the story.

Structure tames the creative spirit, but also allows it to reign free within its logical limitations.

It’s not a prison but a playground where stories run wild.

It’s part of human nature to make sense of what happens, and if what happens is magnified ten times on the big screen, this amplified reality needs structure.