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Plot Points

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There's a lot of written stuff out there about plot points. What I have found useful is using five plot points and also a list of tests and allies. The plot points are lifted straight out of the adept Ninja Writers website run by the inimitable Shaunta Grimes. So in my template, this reads:


Inciting Incident


Tests and allies

Mid-point Crisis

Main Climax

Third Act Twist

The tests and allies come in the middle but could be considered basically separately from the plot. The tests and allies usually comprise most of the book itself. It's what the main character does while she's searching for the key/going to the cave/solving the problem.

Now comes the Neverwhere analysis, so:

Beware of spoilers

You know what? Let's have a cute puppy picture to make sure you don't accidentally read spoilers.

OK, here's my analysis:

Inciting Incident - Door opening the door to London Above. This is when Richard and Door meet and when Richard decides to help her. But he doesn't know the stakes nor the consequences of his action.

Lock-in - Richard realising he can’t be seen in London Above. This sets his goal (to find a way back home) and his path of action: to join Door. Really, much of the first half of the book, he's just being dragged along without much agency, but we'll talk a bit more about that in the next section.

Tests and allies. Allies: The Marquis, The Earl (driving the Marquis’ separation), Hunter (False ally), Old Baley (excellent character), Anaesthesia, Hammersmith (minor), Laima (false ally, minor). Tests: Crossing the bridge to the first market (losing Anaesthesia, meeting Hunter); Finding and receiving a quest from Islington; Finding the Black Friars; Going into the labyrinth with Laima; Hunter reveal; Killing the Beast (Hunter redeemed)

Mid-point Crisis - The Ordeal. Richard is tasked (against his will and everyone's better judgement) with finding The Key. The Ordeal turns out to be internal and brings into sharp relief Richard's internal conflict: he needs to decide who his real friends are, where his real life is: Above or Below. Funnily enough, he solves it without clueing into it, which sets up the stage for the third act twist.

Main Climax - Tricking Islington. Basically, this is what Chuck Wendig calls "We might lose" - things seem hopeless, everyone is bound in Islington's cave and about to be killed, but Door saves the day.

Third Act Twist - Richard unhappy in London Above. A classic "careful what you wish for": Richard gets his old life back only to realise that he's changed and doesn't fit into London Above anymore. His true home is now in London Below.

Tomorrow I'll discuss characters, mostly Richard and Door.


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