Don't expect a detailed analysis of plot structure in this article - that will come later in this section on how to plot a novel
The purpose of these opening articles is to break you into the subject of plotting a novel gently, and all I want to talk about here is plot structure in its broadest form.
More specifically, I want to talk about the number three.
Three is the magic number of plot - not just novel plots, but short story, movie and stage play plots.
Every story - every good story, anyway - has a beginning, a middle and an ending, or three distinct and entirely separate phases.
Three Act Plot Structure is kind of neat like that, once you know what you are looking for.
In more human terms, the beginning, middle and end of a novel - or the three act structure of a play - can be summarized as follows...
Using the classic example of a "boy meets girl" plot, the 3 steps will look something like this:
From the briefest short story to a 1,000-page novel, from a night at the opera to an afternoon at the multiplex, this classic three act structure is what unites all stories - including your novel.
Of course, it doesn't tell you much about how to actually plot a novel (but don't worry about that because we'll be getting to that soon enough).
What it does do, though, is enable you to take your initial idea for a plot and make sure that, in its crudest form, it has all the fundamentals in place.
Next Step: How to Write a Gripping Plot Line...