What’s the Plot for this Scene?

What’s the plot for this scene? What drama can you add to two people out on a trail ride? Below is my inspiration.

The top arc of the sun just clears the horizon as we trot down the deserted country lane. A woodpecker drums on the snag of a dead ash.

Dad hasn’t said a word to me since I asked to ride with him this morning. Maybe he thinks it’s weird since I haven’t ridden with him in months. Or is it a year? Maybe he knows I wouldn’t ask to accompany him unless I wanted something from him.

I tighten my grip on the reins. Most likely, he isn’t thinking about me at all. Like usual.

Dad takes Paladin into a canter. Squeezing with my legs, I put Cinnamon into one. When we slow back to a trot, I test the waters.


His block of a face registers no expression, but his head dips a fraction.

“The county fair’s next week. I’m competing on Tuesday. Can you come watch me?”

He shakes his head. “I have meetings all day. I can’t reschedule them.”

And he wouldn’t even try. I stare at the reins in my gloved hands. Should I even bother with what I really need to ask him?

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8 thoughts on “What’s the Plot for this Scene?

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  1. Hi!
    I’m new to plotting but here goes:


    “Whoa Nelly!” Jasper pulled on the tan leather reins. The brown sorrel slowed to a walk.

    Jasper glanced at her Dad on a chestnut mare.

    He said: “You aren’t getting a new car.”

    “I’m a good driver you taught me,” she said.

    “Stop buttering me up! No car for you!” he said.

    Jasper wouldn’t give up that easily. Her mind whirled back to her parents describing their high school days.

    “You and Mom had a car at my age. Drive-in movies I think you said. Mom turns red when I bring up Snorkle Point.” She grinned.

    Her Dad stopped his horse. “Are you saying you want to go to Snorkle Point?”

    Jasper laughed. “Ha! So you did go there! No I just want to drive. And I’m good and safe and we all will wear seatbelts.”

    “No Snorkle Point?” he said.

    “Never,” she showed her white teeth.

    “Will have to talk to your mother about it,” he said.

    Jasper already had. And Jasper smiled.



  2. “Ruth Ann, I’m starting to wonder why I agreed to follow you out here,” my former English teacher Mr. Meyer says.

    “Because we both know that you’re the only sensible adult in Wesleyville.” The same line got me through the poetry unit. And theatre unit. I know how to play my cards. “And you want to protect your children and your students from danger,” I add for good measure.

    “How much farther? I’ve got an all-faculty meeting at 5:00.” He checks his watch. Please believe me. I know what I saw.

    “Just around the next bend in the trail. Is your camera ready to go? I’ll turn on a voice recorder.” I stand in my stirrups to retrieve my phone from my pocket, then click to the voice recorder. It’s time somebody catches the dangerous pranksters. The horses’ ears prick forward, sensing voices. We slow to a walk and hold up our phones, ready to collect evidence. What are they going to blow up today? Did we make it in time? What if they’re already done and packing up and we still don’t have evidence? When will they stop this recklessness?

    BOOM! The horses bolt and I nearly drop my phone. I pull my reins and circle Shadow around, trying to slow her. I glance at Mr. Meyer and see that Brownie is in the same state between panicked and slowly calming. I can feel Shadow’s scared breathing under my legs, and I pat her neck. “Easy, girl.” We manage to circle the horses back to the trail. I brace myself for another explosion, and sure enough, the next BOOM rattles us. The horses don’t jump as much, but they’re not happy to be here. This time a flame streaks through the woods, only ten feet in front of us. It thunks into a dead pine tree and the crispy branches start to flicker. Mr. Meyer looks scared, and then we hear raucous laughing and a 4-wheeler engine. They’re coming right at us. Our phones are posed. They’re close enough to recognize now. Oh, no. What have I done? It’s my brother and his friends.

    1. Hi, Okay if an amateur plotter/pantser comments on your plot?

      The rudimentary plot acronym I know of is “L.O.C.K.” by James Scott Bell (and probably others!): Lead, Objective, Complications, Kool stuff.

      Lead character: Ruth Ann
      Objective: Get video evidence of pranksters with an authority figure (her teacher).
      Complications: Explosions spook the horses! She drops her phone!
      Kool stuff: “A flame streaks through the woods…thunks into a dead pine tree.”

      Summary: “This amateur finds your plot well done!”


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