I found this in a recent post on the Adventures in Agentland blog. A plot dot test is supposed to be a way of determining where in your plot action is lagging.
To start, you either need a finished manuscript or detailed outline.
It goes like this: Take a sheet of paper, and all along the top write a line of numbers corresponding with the number of chapters in your story. For each chapter, place a dot somewhere below that number. The idea is to make a bar graph for your story, with the x axis being your story chapters and the y axis being the amount of action in a given chapter.
If my math-heavy explanation is too confusing, here is an example. This is the plot line I created from Jasper City:
There were a few errors when graphing, hence the crossed-out dots. Other than that, that’s how I feel the plot flows.
Judging by this graph there are areas where I could probably ramp up the action. It does look rather slow, but looking at the outline itself I would disagree. It’s an interesting test but I feel there is a wide margin of error to take into account as we’re measuring something that can’t really be quantified.
What do you think?