Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How to Create an External Plot Journey by Developing the Internal Plot Journey

Plotting has always been the most difficult aspect of storytelling for me to master. I used to wonder, how can I create a plot that is not only interesting, but that can somehow connect with the main character's inner struggles and desires as well

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Since this was a problem area for me, I spent extra time studying how I can create an external arc of my story by drawing from the internal arc of my character. In this new episode of Firsts in Fiction podcast, I share some of the secrets I learned and discuss how you, too, can weave together external and internal conflict to thrust your story into motion. Check out the discussion below!

Main points:

  • Character-driven novelists, in particular, can benefit from discovering their story's plot by first establishing their character's inner journey. Once we discover who they are, then we can map out their external journey. 
  • The external journey will cause problems and tension as the inner journey proceeds. 
  • The overarching external goal of your main character, motivation, and story stakes can all be uncovered by first discovering your main character's inner need
  • The external and internal journey that your main character undergoes needs to be woven together in order to deliver a well-rounded story.

How do you create the external plot of your stories? What are other ways that we can brainstorm plot ideas by first uncovering the inner arcs of our main characters? Let me know in the comments!



  1. I so enjoyed this conversation. It's nice to discover this blog too. I've been involved with MBT and enjoyed Susan's teaching as well. I hope to meet you next month at the Southern Christian Fiction Writer's virtual conference.

  2. This is exactly what I struggle with in writing. External plots are next to invisible in my novels. I haven't been able to find anything helpful addressing it -- THANK YOU! This is actually amazing.


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