Once you start thinking about plot points, you will want to weave
in setups and payoffs to pull your story together.
information, phrase, event or object introduced early in the story,
that may seem unimportant at the time, which turns into a key payoff
Setups need to be carefully presented in way that audience does
not suspect they are being given key story information. Audiences
should flash back to the earlier setups during payoff moments and
put the information together in a new way.
says something that seems unimportant like “I don’t
needs to be rushed to the hospital for allergic reaction to
given, found or obtained which seems useless or of small importance
at the time.
object becomes valuable tool or enables character to accomplish
plot goal in surprising way.
given to character that seems unimportant.
information becomes the key to accomplishing plot goal later.
finds clue, information or evidence. We do not see what they
do with this new information.
uses clue in surprising way that audience may not see at first.
Show the result, such as information being suddenly presented
at a meeting. Another character could explain it was sent earlier.
states opinion about situation such as “The truth shall
set you free.”
ends up in a courtroom forced to lie then goes to jail for perjury.
event occurs causing character to adjust.
event spirals out of control.
at your climax plot point and see what setup info or thing you can
include early in the story to shift the outcome in a surprising
Goal succeeds or fails at climax because _________
Any other ideas for using setups and payoffs in your story?