To Plot or Not To Plot

Do you plot your story before writing it or do you write and then plot?

I write first. Then I get serious and look at my plot after I have a first draft written.

There is lots of writing advice out there telling writers to have major events at 25%, 50% and 75%. These are major plot points where something happens to change the direction of the story or the character arc.

So I went through my novels to see if I’d done this and was surprised to find I was close. I ended up with plot points between 22% and 27%, 45% and 53% and again between 72% and 77%. I figure this is close enough. There must be something about reading many books that makes this structure appear naturally when writing.

I used the kindle to find look at the percentages. This was easier than counting words. Now in my scrivener, I add a per cent number at each chapter heading. One more way to see if my writing is on track.

So, how to you know if you’re plot is laid out properly? and does it matter?

Thanks for reading . . .


3 thoughts on “To Plot or Not To Plot

  1. I think it’s very important that a plot turns at the right points in the story, but I’m not too involved with that in the first draft stage either. It just seems too much to keep track of, when I’m lucky to get all my characters on the page along with a decent setting and landing at the end in one piece!
    The more I revise, the more I discover how important my turning points are–and the better the next stories rough out in first draft. 🙂


    1. Funny how hard writing is. Good thing I didn’t know this when I started out. Sometimes it’s better just to do something rather than think about it too much. Thanks for the insight into how you write.


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