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Plot Wheel

You can use this plot wheel to create an outline if you're a Plotter, or you can use it as writing prompts if you're a Pantster.

Pick a place. Spin a globe and close your eyes and pick a spot. Choose a place you vacationed as a child. Choose that weird old vacant house on the corner. Anywhere. Pick a year, or a decade, or an era like "Old West".

Pick a character. Or pick several. You don't have to give them names if you don't want. You can give them stereotype labels, or physical descriptions, or define them by their job. Names can come later.

Now start brainstorming. What are all the things that could possibly happen to these people in this place and time?

A stranger at the door.
A telegram.
An argument.
A secret.
A love scene.
A bad guy.
A storm.
A disaster.
A tragedy.
A celebration.
A party.

The type of story you want to tell will have an impact on the kinds of scenes you think up. Keep going until you've filled in all the blanks all the way around the wheel. Print another one if you can keep going.

You can organize these into an outline if you want, starting with the inciting incident (the event that starts the story moving), all the way to the climax, the black moment, the resolution, and the denouement.

Or you can write each one of these scene ideas onto a slip of paper and put them all in a basket. Each day when it's time to write, choose one, let an image come to you, then start writing. Eventually the shape of a story will emerge, at which time you can take a step back to arrange them into a dynamic order. (Hint: check out Hero's Journey, or other plot templates for ideas on how to arrange the scenes you've written.)

click on the image for a larger version to print.

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