General Fiction Synopsis Workshop Hand-out #2
by Kathy Carmichael
1. Who is the hero? (job or aspiration):
2. Add to that a descriptor:
List 10 adjectives to describe the hero:
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.