Planning Your Story: Part 2 Big Plot Moments

Planning Your Story: Part 2 Big Plot Moments

Last month I talked about answering questions in order to establish the PREMISE of your new story. Without knowing WHERE you are headed, you might not ever get there.

Today, I want to discuss how to establish your BIG PLOT MOMENTS.

Think hard about what the major events in your story MIGHT be—remember none of this is set in stone and can and will change as you write. This is a GUIDE to get you started. So, what is the first big thing your protagonist will face? What will happen then? And next? And so on.

Once you have this list of BIG MOMENTS, list 2 complications for each of those moments.  Beneath each complication, describe how this will affect your character.

Here’s how I handled this task:

Rayna meets her twin at Summer Festival but doesn’t know it.

And then?
1.      She is seen talking with a red-haired girl by the antag who uses this as ammo
2.      Rayna begins to question who she is because they look so much alike
Now, obviously I had more than one big moment, but if I gave them all away here, you wouldn’t need to read my book. I think you can get the idea from this example.

So what?
1.      Rayna becomes the object of the bully/antag
2.      Rayna questions who her parents were, why she has red hair and they don’t, why is it taboo

As I hope you can see, by doing this exercise for EACH of your BIG MOMENTS in the story, you will begin to see it unfold and blossom like a summer rose.

Next month, setting the scenes.

Thanks to K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel

Rebecca Ryals Russell, a fourth-generation Floridian, was born in Gainesville, grew up in Ft Lauderdale then lived in Orlando and Jacksonville with her Irish husband and four children. Due to the sudden death of Rebecca's mother, they moved to Wellborn, near Lake City, to care for her father, moving into his Victorian home built in 1909. After teaching Middle Graders for fourteen years she retired and began writing the story idea which had been brewing for thirty years.  Within six months she wrote the first three books of each series, YA Seraphym Wars and MG Stardust Warriors. The world she created has generated numerous other story ideas including two current works in progress, SageBorn Chronicles based on various mythologies of the world and aimed at the lower Middle Grade reader and Saving Innocence, another MG series set on Dracwald and involving dragons and Majikals. She is finishing a YA Dystopian Romance which has been a NaNoWriMo project for three years. She loves reading YA Fantasy, Horror and Sci Fi as well as watching movies.  Read more about Rebecca and her WIPs as well as how to buy books in her various series at  You may email her at


Margaret Fieland said...

Okay, so vital trivia question: exactly what is a Big Plot Moment, as opposed to an inciting incident, first plot point, etc?

Karen Cioffi said...

Very interesting, Rebecca. I like this method of breaking down each plot moment. I think the 'big plot moment' is the same as the inciting incident.

You might want to add a link to the first part of the series, so visitors can read that also.

Debbie A Byrne said...

Very helpful and I bought the book you recommended. I hope to read it soon.

Unknown said...

The Big Plot Moment is indeed known as the Turning Point of which every story has several. K.M. also does a weekly podcast and vlog on youtube. Check her out. Karen, I will add that link, thanks.

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