The Plot Dot: A quick review of Derek Murphy’s outline to write fiction that sells–and how to sell more fiction
There are methods and structures to books that sell. Or at least, to books that sell more than other books.
Here’s an introduction to plotting a fiction book from author and book marketer Derek Murphy. He mentions several other plotting books in his work and suggests you read them all. Needless to say, his method isn’t the only way to plot a book, but it’s one of them.
I took the 1 hour to watch his free video series, “How to write fiction that sells (and how to sell your fiction).” It’s free to watch and I recommend getting a pen and paper (or a keyboard) and taking notes. You can get a copy of The Plot Dot by scrolling down on his Resources page.
Here are a few of my notes below. First, an intro and why I even watched the videos.
My name is Bradley Charbonneau and I’m a recovering Pantser. For those of you who don’t know, a Pantser is someone who writes “by the seat of their pants.”
Although there is nothing actually wrong, illegal, or inherently bad about pantsing, it is my belief that plotting can make pantsers better writers.
Thus my fascination with learning more about story and plot.
He lays out the plot into these sections. He covers each one in the videos. It’s a bit like he’s sitting there with you and explaining his book.
- Ordinary World: start with lack
- Inciting Incident: call to adventure
- 1st Plot Point: point of no return
- 1st Pinch Point: first battle
- Midpoint: shift from victim to warrior
- 2nd Pinch Point: second battle
- 2nd Plot Point: dark night of the soul
- Final Battle: triumph-knowledge
I watched and took notes. I also watched them all in one sitting (it’s only about an hour). I took notes like these which are extremely helpful for me:
Inciting Incident: It’s usually something with money or power or freedom. They don’t like where they are in their life and they’re trying to do something to change things. They’ll find out that they’re powerless to change anything.
I really resonated with this part as it pertains to the characters I’m creating right now in my upcoming books:
Characters wrestling with ethics of what they’re trying to do. The MC doesn’t really want to become the person that everyone tells them that they need to become. E.g. they’re being told they’re the “chosen one” and they just want to go home, back to the beginning.
I won’t overwhelm you with all of my notes, but just wanted to give you a taste of it.
Derek also has books on marketing and courses for sale, but you can get to know his style and some of his ideas through these videos.
I hope you get as much out of them as I did.