Drafting a Cohesive Plot with Linda Wood Rondeau


By Linda Wood Rondeau


There are many ways to plot your story, including creative non-fiction. Some prefer to use the Five Act or Three Act approach. Some like to use a skeleton approach, like a blueprint. Some get their story down, like the frame of a house, then tweak and fine-tune their story events. I am a panster, or as some term this trait, an intuitive writer. Rather than create chapter-by-chapter synopses, I allow my story to evolve naturally.

Whatever plotting method is chosen, there are similarities that bear noting, events that help your story plotline remain cohesive.

  1. Initiating event: Here we get to know your protagonist. Establish relatability. An introduction to your character’s world. For example, here is the initiating event for Hunger Games. When we understand Katniss’ love for her sister, her later choices make sense.
  2. Inciting event: The protagonist is thrust, either by choice or circumstance, toward a collision with destiny.  In Hunger games, this when Katniss decides to volunteer as Tribute.
  3. Crisis event: This is where your protagonist is “all in.” There is no turning back and the only course is to move forward. The prince is in heavy battle with the dragon. The protagonist makes a decision that cannot be reversed and propels the rest of the story. An example of a crisis event is found in Titanic, when Rose gets off the lifeboat. It is the last one, and the ship will sink. Her decision propels the rest of the story.
  4. Climax: Luke uses the force. Everything that has gone on before now culminates in this last battle or act. The volcano must erupt.
  5. Denouement: The release or tying up the story. This is the natural result of all that has gone on before and leads to a satisfactory ending. This does not necessarily mean happy-ever-after. Rather an ending that makes sense given the previous events.


Award winning author, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.

Tired of war, the world’s nations surrendered their weapons and formed a global government called The Accord, a democracy patterned after America’s constitution. However, The Accord proved too weak and greedy men reformed United Earth under the rule of The Constitutional Government, a faux democracy. Manipulations have now created the potential rise of United Earth’s first dictator. Many believe only reform will preserve the benefit of a global government. Factions arise, each with a differing opinion as to what those reforms should be. Jacob Goodayle, leader of the Western America Network, believes his group should declare an independent sovereign state. Edwin Rowlands, President-elect of United Earth has proposed an amendment to The Fourteen Articles of Constitution. His preservation act would make defection from Citizenry to any outworld, past, present or future, an act of treason punishable by death. Jimmy Kinnear, leader of the Revolutionary Army, believes only revolt will save the world. Reformists like Bridget Cavanaugh and Ian McCormick believe the current government can be reformed from within. Ahmed Fared, Second to the President-Elect, strives to save the status quo. In a world where engineered flesh have become little more than slaves and religious expression of any kind is forbidden, Christ Followers struggle to maintain their values while humanity teeters on the verge of a civil war that would plummet humanity into a third dark age.

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