We have the Problem.
We have the Desire.
…And we even have the opposition.
What could we possibly need next? Did anyone suggest a plan?
The Plan is what moves the story forward, but will also be the means by which your readers will travel through the plot with your protagonist.
The hero must come up with a plan to overcome his/her opponent(s) and succeed. How sad would it have been if Luke Skywalker and friends had broken into the Dreaded Death Star only to be captured and killed? Of course it would have been a very short story. Smile.
The plan must give support to the middle of the story.
In too many manuscripts a new or novice writer will often have a fantastic beginning to a story, and may even have a dynamic ending in sight; but all too often the story falls flat in the middle. As a reader, there are not many things I hate more than being left in the middle of nowhere with a go nowhere plot in the gut of a story.
Finally, the plan doesn’t have to be well thought out or even detailed in the mind of your hero. Remember again, the trio of Skywalker, Solo, and Chewy as they determined to rescue Princess Leia. Luke comes up with a plan to sneak into the brig, but he has no idea of what he’s really doing or even of how he’s going get out again. Now keep in mind that this was only a smaller part of the plan that he and Obi-Wan Kenobi originated earlier to fight and destroy the Empire.
This big plan and all of its smaller components is what carries us as readers from the bombed out farm on Tatooine to the space battle above the jungle planet of Yavin Four as our rag-tag band of rebels take on the glory and might of the Galactic Empire. (Don’t you just love these names?)
Simply put, the plan moves the story.