Posted by: nancyisanders | May 5, 2015

Chapter Book: The Plot Ends

Right now we’re filling out our plot chart for our upcoming first chapter book that we’re going to write.

I’ve written various chapter books over my career and have had a number of them published with publishers big and small.

And the best thing I ever did was learn how to brainstorm ideas for the plot before I started writing the book. Taking time to do this saves so much headache later on.

As we talked about in our earlier post, the plot at its most basic level is how a story starts in the beginning, what happens in the middle, and how it ends.

Today we’re going to talk about how our story’s plot will end.

On our plot chart, we already wrote how the story starts. Each of our stories should start with the main story problem, just as our mentor text, STINK: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KID does.

And likewise, each of our stories should end with the resolution of the main story problem.

How should we do that, though?

Once again, let’s turn to our trusty mentor text for our guide. (Don’t you just love using a mentor text?)

Turn to page 102, or the very last page if for some reason there are different versions of the book floating around out there. What does the last paragraph say?

Everybody says growing takes time, thought Stink. It’s all part of the life cycle. One day, it’s going to happen to me. Me! Mr. James Moody!

Viola! There it is. The ending.

So if the beginning of the book starts with the Main Character’s (MC) main story problem (As in Stink being the shortest person in the whole world) then the ending will be a resolution of that exact problem.

With books at this reading level, the ending can be fairly predictable based on which universal theme you chose.

For example, if your story starts out that your MC is afraid to go to the dentist or the doctor, the ending is that it wasn’t that bad and the MC isn’t quite as afraid any more.

Or if your story starts out that your MC discovers he had a loose tooth, the ending can be that he discovers a new tooth is growing in the hole where it fell out.

With this in mind, go ahead and write on the chart how you want your story to end.

If you have an exact scene already in mind, write that in. If not, don’t worry about HOW you’ll get that accomplished. Some writers prefer making this discovery when they get there during the writing process.

Just know the goal that you’ll be aiming for as you write.

This will help your story’s structure be stronger from the get-go and you won’t waste hundreds of words that you’ll need to try to go back and fix because you were wandering around while writing without knowing your story’s destination.

Next we’ll talk about your story’s middle.

And if you’re just joining us and want to catch up with us, CLICK HERE to read the first post on our new chapter book adventure. Then scroll through the posts on up until today’s.


  1. Nancy, I want to back track a little to the start of the story. I’m going to be writing about a girl who reallllly wants to be a (certain profession). I know not all kids want to be the same thing (universal theme) so I’m wondering if I should start my ms with: MC wants to be good at something (a universal theme) and then taking that farther to …and what she really wants to be is a ____.

    • Mary, without knowing the specifics of your story,I think you’ve got a good idea about this. Perhaps at the very opening page say how she thinks everybody else knows what they want to be and she doesn’t. Then in the middle or end of the first chapter she can decide what she wants to be. I think this sounds great!

  2. Could I send you an email re my plot?

  3. Nancy, never mind. The more I’ve thought about what you said, I see how I can tweak my opening. I’ll end up at the same place. Thanks, though.

    • Glad it worked out for you! And yes, people who follow my blog are always welcome to e-mail me at any time! I’m at

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