Impractical Applications (One Big River Arc)

The first arc of game I ran wasn’t without its faults; it was my first time, it required a lot of back-pedaling and improvisation, and it regularly showed that I was still getting the hang of the game world. On the other hand, it managed to work as a serviceable overarching plot, lasting about a [...]

Overarching Plots: Why Aren’t We There Yet?

During my riff on overarching plots in general, I pointed out one question that is vital to the writer of the overarching plot at every event (and, for that matter, is one of the few that should be answered event by event, rather than once and for all at the beginning). By this time we’re [...]

Overarching Plots: The Major Conflict

In general, if you’ve got an overarching plot, you should have—one might even say there has to be—a major conflict. Something has to tie all those little plot threads together, after all! But how much do you actually have to plan beforehand, and how much can you leave to your subconscious mind, the actions of [...]

Overarching Plots: Calibrating Scope

Yesterday, I talked about landmarks and steps that a plotter who isn’t interested in full-on outlines could use to guide herself through an overarching plot. Today, I’m going to go into more detail on one of the steps: determining a plot’s scope.
Scope is, as plot variables go, somewhat messy; there are a lot of things [...]

Overarching Plot for People Who Hate Outlines

If you’re the kind of person who plans everything out in advance naturally, big overarching plots probably come relatively easily; they’re all about planning ahead and knowing how to make everything fit together, event by event by event. But not all of us are outliners; I know I’m not and probably never will be! How, [...]