The second plot point occurs right before the fourth quarter of the novel. It gives the protagonist the last piece of information necessary to enable them to move towards the climax of the novel. In this video I explain how to write the second plot point so that the entire fourth quarter of the novel leads to a strong climax.
- The second plot point occurs 75% to 80% into a novel.
- The second plot point provides the protagonist with the last piece of key information necessary for the protagonist to move towards the climax.
- No information, allies, concepts, or items vital to the climax should be introduced after the second plot point.
- To move seamlessly from the second plot point to the climax, it’s helpful to use a series of obstacles or trials that force the character to use skills they learned or allies they gained earlier in the novel.
Questions to Ask About Your Novel
1. Is there a key event or a key piece of information that directs the character towards the climax?
Whatever happens at the second plot point should give the protagonist the last thing they need to succeed in the climax. After the second plot point, the protagonist needs to execute their plan, face challenges, and fight to the finish, but the protagonist should already have everything he/she is going to take into the climax.
2. Is there enough space between the second plot point and the climax?
The most common problem with the second plot point is that it happens too late. If there isn’t enough space between the second plot point and the climax, the reader is less likely to find the climax satisfying. Keep in mind that the sequence leading up to the climax and the climax itself is what the entire novel has been leading up to. You don’t want to rush this section of the novel. The second plot point indicates to the reader that everything is about to pay off.
If you have any questions about writing the second plot point, please post it in the comments below.
Comment Question: Do you find the second plot point difficult to write? Do you have trouble “filling” the fourth quarter of your novel?
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