Before writing a screenplay, John Truby defines the main elements of a good story in his book "The Anatomy of Story", the primary reference in this field. He regularly presents Masterclasses around the world. Scriptwriters, directors, distributors, publishers, writers, actors, technicians, advertisers, marketing managers, journalists, everyone comes listening to him ! Here are some tips and tricks provided by the master to write a plot.
How do you sum up the whole story into one sentence?
Seven critical steps of the narrative structure
Such key stages in the story's creation and the dramatic code conceal themselves underneath the surface. Truby reveals them. They result in stable and reliable foundations: weaknesses and needs, desire, foe, hero's strategy, final face-off, self-revelation, new equilibrium.
Invent elaborate characters, link them together, and assign them a task concerning the hero(es). The most compelling character has to be the main one, i.e., at the center of the plot.
Theme and moral debate
What is the underlying theme in the idea of the narrative and the structure of your story? Does it include a moral point of view?
Assigning a moral need to the hero sophisticates his relationships with other characters and makes them more attractive. These decisions and actions have a direct impact on them. They can be an obstacle, a model, or even the source of this need.
Imagine the hero's universe as an extension of the character.