The first plot point is the the part of the story where your protagonist have to make a decision that will determine what happens next. It is the point of no return which makes it a key turning point that will propel your story forward and hook the readers’ interest. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of the first plot point and how it can shape your novel’s narrative, build momentum, and captivate readers.
The first plot point typically occurs around the 25% mark of your novel and marks a significant shift in the story’s direction. It is at the end of the fist act of the three act story structure. It is the point at which the protagonist is faced with a critical event, challenge, or revelation that forces them to confront the central conflict of the story. In the video below Abbie Emmons explains How to Write the First Plot Point in a great way.
The first plot point works as a catalyst and hooks the reader to keep reading. It introduces a compelling conflict and raises questions that makes the readers keep turning the pages. It also launches the central conflict of the story. Usually the protagonist will make a choice based on their inner conflict. It also challenges the protagonist’s beliefs, desires, or capabilities. It forces them to make choices, take risks, or confront their fears. This test of character creates opportunities for growth, transformation, and development throughout the story.
How to Craft an Effective First Plot Point
Build Tension: Create a sense of anticipation and tension leading up to the first plot point. Foreshadow the upcoming event or conflict, hinting at the challenges or revelations that lie ahead.
Make it Significant: Ensure that the first plot point has a substantial impact on the protagonist’s journey. It should be a pivotal moment that propels the story in a new and unexpected direction.
Connect it to the Central Conflict: The first plot point should directly relate to the central conflict of the story. It should present a challenge or opportunity that aligns with the protagonist’s goals and desires.
Show Consequences: Highlight the consequences of the first plot point. Demonstrate how it alters the protagonist’s circumstances, beliefs, or relationships, and how it sets the stage for future events.
Maintain Continuity: While the first plot point introduces a significant shift, ensure that it flows naturally from the established story elements. The transition should feel organic and logical within the narrative.
A few examples of the first plot point are: When Harry Potter finds out that he is a wizard and goes to Hogwarts to learn magic. In Hunger Games when Katniss volunteers as tribute after Prim gets chosen to participate in the Hunger Games.
By skillfully incorporating the first plot point into your novel, you can create a captivating narrative that compels readers to eagerly continue the protagonist’s journey.