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The Rollercoaster


This ‘plot point’ actually contains quite a few points/beats. This is where you take your hero for the ride of their life, and it comprises most of Act 2. It is where most of the action in your story takes place.


You will let your hero win some but make them lose some as well. In essence, you will be torturing your main character. Sometimes, this can be hard for an author to do, yet it is fun for the reader.


There are all different ways to create the rollercoaster. But you need to choose whether the rollercoaster is mostly achievements or failures. Will your hero have small wins and bigger losses? Or bigger wins, and smaller losses? The decision is yours.


Let’s use a detective as our hero.


The detective is on a murder case. They have very few clues to go on in the beginning, but as your story progresses, they find a few leads they chase down. All of the leads, will provide important information to solving the case (or not solving it, depending on if you chose the downward track for your rollercoaster). Each lead or piece of evidence will send your detective on a small adventure, but only some of them will be useful in finding the killer. The others will be false leads—the hero’s losses.


With each small adventure, your hero can go deeper into the mind of the killer and/or the bad parts of town, maybe both. As the detective goes down the rabbit hole, so to speak, they may find the murder they started with is only one of many. Maybe they link each murder to the same suspect but can’t nail them because everything they have found is circumstantial evidence. They get frustrated and go into a depression or it can spark them to go after their suspect head on. Follow them, stalk them, waiting to catch them before they commit another murder. But wait, a murder similar to the others happens while they are watching!


Now they have to rethink everything they thought they knew. Reassess all the evidence, and see if they had blinders on when they viewed it the first few times because your hero was so concentrated on one suspect that they missed the key to it all.


My example might sound cliché, but I hope you get the idea. Evidence, adventure, failure. New evidence, new adventure, new failure. Keep the rollercoaster exciting for your reader.



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