Story structure is the skeleton of your story; it’s the backbone that holds the entire thing together.
So here we are.
We’ve reached the final piece of structure on the storytelling road–the Second Plot Point (SPP).
All’s said and done after this moment in your story.
The Second Plot Point
The Second Plot Point, according to Larry Brooks of StoryFix.com, is: “the final injection of new information into the story, after which no new expository information may enter the story, and which puts a final piece of narrative information in play that gives the hero everything she or he needs to become the primary catalyst in the story’s conclusion.”
That means whatever shows up in the story after this moment must have already been in play, set up or foreshadowed.
This is a big moment in your story–it’s the final catalyst that transitions the Protagonist from part three “Attack” mode into part four “Resolution” mode. It’s the moment when the Protagonist becomes the Martyr, willing to do whatever it takes to solve the problem at hand and defeat the antagonist.
Brooks covered this in his blog post:
I’m gonna send you over to StoryFix.com now to read more about the Second Plot Point. Then be sure to come back here for some SPP examples.
Second Plot Point Examples
It’s hard to give specific Second Plot Point examples (as Larry mentioned in his blog post) because the SPP can literally be almost anything. So I’m gonna give ya one specific example, and then a few generic examples, just to give you an idea of how the SPP works.
In the movie, Safe Haven, the protagonist, Katie, is running from a dark past. That past finally catches up to her at the SPP.
The SPP shows up in a dream–Katie falls asleep and dreams of her friend, Jo. Jo leaves Katie with a warning, “He’s here.” Katie replies, “Who is?” And Jo adds, “You know who.”
When Katie awakens, we’ve officially been transitioned into Part Four of the story. She now has all the information needed to resolve the story and secure the title of “Hero.”
There are a million possibilities for the SPP, some of which could be:
- In a thriller, it’s when the chase scene starts
- In a romance, it’s when the protagonist realizes he’s in love with the girl and must now do everything in his power to win her back
- In a mystery, it’s when the final clue is dropped, causing the protagonist to have all the details needed to solve the puzzle
The SPP is the fuel that propels the Protagonist forward for the final time in the story.
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Now that you’ve gotten the full run down of story structure–how will you use this information to write better stories?