Fiction Synopsis Hand-out #2

General Fiction Synopsis Workshop Hand-out #2

by Kathy Carmichael

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1. Who is the hero? (job or aspiration):

2. Add to that a descriptor:

List 10 adjectives to describe the hero:

1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.

3. What does the hero want externally (the external plot):

4. What is the hero seeking in his life? What is he lacking inside? What does he need to change? EX: forgiveness, to be complete, acceptance of who is truly is.

The Inciting Incident: (the door opens):

Often first step in the progression of change, or the precursor to change. In mystery, first indication of problem that needs solution.


The Hero takes control:

Confronted a necessity for change (or a need to react). Based on their current internal conflict, they deal with it with as little internal change as possible. After dealing with it they feel successful.


A Monkey Wrench is Thrown: (1/4 mark)

Just when the character feels like everything is under control—something goes wrong. A screw up happens, a new threat arises, or a complication develops. Should show that initial change/reaction was not enough to solve the story dilemma.


Things Fall Apart (middle of the book)




The Hero/Heroine hits bottom

The black moment.

What does the Hero get?

What is their reward for overcoming the external and internal plot obstacles? Don’t short cut on this; the reader wants to experience it, too.