Plot Point – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Screenwriting Glossary Terms

I. What is a Plot Point?

A plot point is a significant event or turning point in a story that drives the narrative forward and changes the direction of the plot. These moments are crucial in keeping the audience engaged and invested in the story. Plot points can vary in importance, with some being major turning points that significantly impact the story, while others are minor events that serve to build tension or develop characters.

II. How are Plot Points used in Screenwriting?

In screenwriting, plot points are essential for creating a compelling and engaging story. They help to structure the screenplay and keep the audience interested throughout the film. Plot points are typically used to introduce conflict, develop characters, and advance the story towards its resolution.

Screenwriters often use a three-act structure to organize their plot points. The first act sets up the story and introduces the main characters, the second act develops the conflict and builds tension, and the third act resolves the story and provides a satisfying conclusion. Major plot points are usually found at the end of each act, serving as turning points that propel the story forward.

III. What is the Difference Between a Major Plot Point and a Minor Plot Point?

Major plot points are significant events that have a major impact on the story and characters. These moments often change the direction of the plot or reveal important information that drives the narrative forward. Examples of major plot points include the inciting incident, the midpoint twist, and the climax of the story.

On the other hand, minor plot points are smaller events that serve to build tension, develop characters, or provide additional context to the story. While minor plot points may not have as much impact as major plot points, they are still important for keeping the audience engaged and moving the story forward.

IV. How do Plot Points Drive the Narrative Forward?

Plot points are crucial for driving the narrative forward and keeping the audience engaged in the story. By introducing conflict, revealing new information, or changing the direction of the plot, plot points help to maintain the audience’s interest and create a sense of momentum in the story.

Major plot points are particularly effective at driving the narrative forward, as they often serve as turning points that propel the story towards its resolution. These moments create tension, raise the stakes, and keep the audience on the edge of their seats, eager to see what happens next.

V. How to Identify and Develop Effective Plot Points in a Screenplay?

Identifying and developing effective plot points is essential for creating a compelling screenplay. To do this, screenwriters should first outline the main beats of their story and identify key moments that will drive the narrative forward. These moments should be significant, impactful, and serve to advance the plot in a meaningful way.

Once the plot points have been identified, screenwriters can then focus on developing them to ensure they have the desired impact on the story. This may involve adding depth to the characters, increasing the stakes, or introducing new conflicts that will keep the audience engaged.

In conclusion, plot points are essential for creating a compelling and engaging screenplay. By understanding the role of plot points in driving the narrative forward, screenwriters can effectively structure their story and keep the audience invested in the outcome. By identifying and developing effective plot points, screenwriters can create a story that captivates and entertains audiences from beginning to end.