Hey there, Please be nice, I'm new here (but not new to writing) I'm just trying to get past this sticking point I have regarding plot (for very simple stories), In order to get past the tendency I'm having to overcomplicate things I'm making sure to stick to a blueprint, Below is what I have got so far and I'd appreciate some additions if any are apparent to you, The genre is sci-fi or drama (just general stuff you see around) 6 element structure Who - establishing the character's style and approach to things Collision course - a coming tragedy/conflict/meeting First reactions - chemistry between characters and setting the goal Opposition - who or what is really stopping them, and why they deserve to be the victor Clash - everything has to come out at some point if they are to overcome Message and take away - why were juxtapositions made, why did characters have certain outcomes and their feelings about it Show don't tell Convoluted structures and repetition in my writing seem to be coming from the show don't tell principle and straying away from it. As a response to it getting murky I get more aggressive and try to make the story hold more meaning and BLAM the book gets too complicated. In order to avoid this I'm trying to define HOW I want to be achieving the above goals in a show don't tell way. Satisfying the "who" - One STRIKING establishing scene (introducing comedy, a twist from expectation, and a reason to stay hooked) - One outside of "their element" scene (showing how the world sees them) - One flaw or shortcoming that introduces a meaning to the upcoming story (if they are vain they will grow as a person, if they are shy they will grow in confidence, if they are a killer they will try to stop) The "collision course" - You should define who or what CAN affect them (government changes, introduction to a group/belief, an inspiration, a deadline) - How BIG is this thing coming for them, how unlikely are they to survive or solve it, and how can the audience relate? What emotion does this cause, and what stake does it set? (think "Taken" where they estalish that in 3 days the girl will never be found again, and the intense anxiety that drives a father with his skills to take on an entire organisation) The "first reaction" - What resources do they have, what positions can they take, what philosophy is going to be followed? And why are they confident upon this direction being taken? - When it hits them, what emotions does it stir up in them they were not expecting? And what image do they portray under pressure? - How weak is this initial strategy according to the audience and what problems will they predict the character will have? (potentially have others in the story reflect those concerns) The "opposition" - What directly opposes their progression? - What makes it interesting? - Why is it BETTER that they go THROUGH the opposition rather than around it? The "clash" - Is it instant? Is it quiet? What is the atmosphere like compared to expectation, and how is the protagonist coping? - How complicated is the struggle? How different than the audience expects? What are its components? - Creshendo - Payoff The "moral" Show that you had confidence in your vision, and stand by the results and implications that have come out the other side. Give the audience a "settling" or soothing way to process what they have just seen, show them who profits, who comes up short, and help them feel the consequences of the outcome as if it had happened to themselves. Add a finishing style, and show who the character is now.