The Plot Dot (a visual guide to plotting fiction and writing unforgettable scenes)

Since I started writing fiction, I learned my design skills and art background make me really good at visualizing scenes. I even developed some mental tricks for creating powerful, resonant scenes that stick in people’s minds. I started thinking of each scene as one perfect picture, with a flash of color to draw the eye – an object representing the core conflict or principle of each scene and setting.

It’s an interesting enough writing technique, so I turned it into a short writing guide called “The Plot Dot.” It’s kind of a plotting journal, with lots of blank pages, so you can sketch out each of your scenes in a tried-and-tested plot outline that focuses on the major, unskippable scenes that should be included in most fiction.



I based my plotting outline on a classic 3 Act structure, based loosely on the hero’s journey. After several frustrating months trying to understand how a real story fits together, it’s slightly modified – this is the way writing fiction makes sense for me, and this simple outline has helped me finish and publish four books this year.


story architecture plotting 3 Act


Inside the workbook is a quick description of the major turning point scenes, as well as some basic world-building and character description. As long as you hit the major scenes well, you can just fill in the spaces between them however you need to (what do your characters need to do to progress to the next Big Event in your story?).

I’m pretty excited about this idea, because I think it will be a really useful exercise book that will make plotting and scene building much easier. It’s on on Amazon, but you can download the PDF for free.

>>Download The Plot Dot for free! <<




I also have a free video series on writing fiction that sells, it covers these main plot points. Here’s the first video, hope it’s useful!


PS) I’d love feedback! Is this something you or someone you know might actually use? Is there anything I could do to improve it?


About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

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