The plot thickens…
There are lots of directions you can go in in terms of structure but the key overall is to keep your story simple and stick to your core message!
You will see some stories that are very linear and follow a specific pattern, think Eric Carle Books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Other stories can be purely character studies with simple themes like the Little Critter series. Some stories follow an organizational routine, like Goodnight Moon.
But I tend to favor the plot structure of hook rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
For The Shape Escape, I followed that structure quite literally!!!
I began with a short introduction on the first page. Then the story jumps right into the action with the Circle on the second page to hook my audience in. I built up the tension with the Circle causing mayhem and then having to be put in timeout. The action ratchets up even higher when the Circle escapes. The climax of the story depicts the various shapes battling the Circle. The falling action occurs after the Triangle defeats the Circle and emerges as the unlikely victor. The resolution is the celebration.
(Note on the figure that the resolution lands somewhere slightly different than the beginning of your story. You don’t want to end in the exact same place that you started.)
Overall the plot is pretty simple, again it’s just the one page to set the stage, give a little background to your characters, and have that action build right away, I put in a little bit of character development halfway through during that first dance party, then a climactic action sequence followed by a tidy resolution.
Here are 5 Simple Steps to Plan your Plot:
Step 1: Hook
Briefly introduce your characters and setting. Then, get right into the action/conflict!!!
Step 2: Rising Action(s)
Build up conflict and tension in your story. Write exciting actions and/or dialogue to further your plot.
Step 3: Climax
This is where the action reaches its pivotal moment. This is also the turning point of your story.
Step 4: Falling Action(s)
Work to resolve your conflict and build towards the eventual resolution.
Step 5: Resolution
Solve any of the problems that occurred in your story. Give your narrative a nice tidy ending.
Speaking of tidy endings…