Here’s the sentence we’ve been working on for our new early chapter book:
The MAIN CHARACTER who lives in SETTING does his UNIVERSAL THEME and has a PROBLEM.
Now that we have a sentence and have brainstormed all this information, we’re ready to talk plot.
Hey, if you were in charge of building this huge skyscraper I saw in Boston when we took a trip there, you’d plan the structure before you built it, wouldn’t you? It’s the same with plot. Planning the plot structure before you write is helpful to keep your story strong in the right places so it doesn’t come crashing down all around you while you’re working on it. That would be messy, right?
Pure and simple, the plot of a story is how it starts in the beginning, what happens in the middle, and how it ends.
So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. For starters, hop on over to my site, Writing According to Humphrey and Friends. Scroll down to the BASIC PLOT WORKSHEET A and print out a copy for you to use.
Let’s fill out this worksheet together to plan the plot structure for our early chapter book. While I fill out mine, you can fill out yours. We’ll brainstorm together here today for the very first part:
The Beginning: How does the story start?
For help as we brainstorm, let’s take a peek at our trusty mentor text, Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald.
Turn to the opening page of Chapter 1. Read it.
Guess what?!!! On the very first page, we discover Stink’s problem.
He is the shortest human being in the world.
So guess what?!!! For your very own early chapter book, you want the story to start with your main character’s problem.
So go ahead and write that down on the chart you just printed out. Under the question: How does the story start?
That wasn’t too hard, was it?
In an upcoming post we’ll talk about what happens in the middle. We’ll keep working on this chart until we have it filled out. Together!