Writing an Initial Plot Synopsis

Plot refers to the sequence of events which transpire in your story. Before you begin developing your story, it helps to create a brief outline of any ideas you may have already worked out for your plot.

Plots can be simple or complex. There can be a single plot to a story or any number of sub-plots. Some stories even have two or more independent plots which run in parallel, never affecting each other but providing a sense of contrast for the audience.

Try not to be overly literary or descriptive at this point. Even if you have already developed intricate details, when writing an initial plot synopsis you only need enough information to identify the key events which link together to advance your story. This information will serve as a guide down the line to ensure your overall story stays on track.

 

EXAMPLE: Star Wars

Orphaned Luke Skywalker who works on his uncle’s farm chases a runaway robot helper into the desert where he encounters a retired warrior with mystic powers, Obi Wan Kenobi. The robot has a hidden message that leads Luke and Obi on a race across the galaxy to get important information to rebel fighters against the Evil Empire.

Along the way, they join forces with an unruly transport pilot who gives them passage off the planet. The Empire tries to stop them in a big laser gun battle, but they escape.

Later, they get captured by Darth Vader aboard a huge space station with a weapon which can destroy whole planets. There, they rescue Princess Leia, a leader of the Rebels, who joins them in their race to get the information into the right hands. Again, they escape except for Obi Wan, who is killed (though his spirit lives on to guide Luke.)

Eventually, they hook up with the Rebels and hand over the information which shows how to destroy the space station weapon. Luke gets his chance to be a fighter pilot when he joins the rebels, and they all blast into space to do battle with the space station which has tracked them down.

In the end, Luke (guided by Obi’s spirit) learns to rely on his own skills and single-handedly destroys the weapon just when all hope seems lost. He comes back a hero and a legendary warrior in his own right.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Pro Story Development Software

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