Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers

The following is a handout I used for a plot workshop — Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers — for Middle Grade and Young Adult writers. The points serve writers of all genres and for all ages. Tapping into the ancient structure of the Universal Story leads to enduring stories. 

Plot springs from character in conflict. Readers emotionally connect through tension shown in scene. Apply the energy of the Universal Story to the character emotional transformational plot, dramatic action plot and thematic significance plot to your unique project. Explore your protagonist in new ways. Plot the scenes of your latest project on a Plot Planner. Writing is challenging enough. A personalized Plot Planner keeps the plot(s) of your story in line.


Make protagonist’s flaw interfere with reaching her goal and establish in scene #1

Generate fluctuating emotion in every scene


Yes to a protagonist changing and transforming and becoming more emotionally mature

Assign protagonist’s goal the day before story begins and establish in scene #1

Pre-plot the 4 Energetic Markers as soon as possible

Locate the emotional moment in your story

Open your story with a character minus the skills, strengths and abilities needed at climax

Turn episodic events into scenes with cause and effect


For more plot help:

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Revise Your Novel in a Month

online video course with
BP, MG, YA literary agent Jill Corcoran and me