I’ve learned this method years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. The zigzag plot creator starts like this:
A crescent zigzag.
You can have as many up and downs as you want. I’ve drawn six to keep it simple. Alright, this zigzag is your storyline and every corner is an important event that will change everything:
Every down represents a bad thing happening to your main characters, taking them further away from their goal. Every up is a good event, taking them closer to their goal:
So, when the zigzag goes down, something bad must happen. When the zigzag goes up, something good must happen. The reason why we drew a crescent zigzag is because every down must be worse than the previous, and every up must be better than the previous. As the zigzag advances, events become more serious and relevant.
Let’s apply the zigzag method. My storyline is a detective trying to catch a serial killer in a futuristic city. Minutes later, this is what I’ve got:
Start: Detective, our protagonist, is just promoted
Down #1: Mass suicide happens in town, detective gets the case, the whole town thinks it might have been a religious suicide act, but detective suspects that someone single-handed killed all those people
Up #1: Detective finds clue about a possible killer
Down #2: A bigger mass murder happens, a true massacre, it’s a definitely a murder
Up #2: Detective finds the killer’s trail
Down #3: Thinking he is ahead of time, close to catching the killer, detective ends up dead in another mass murder
Up #3: Because of his notes and discoveries, the police is able to find the killer before they leave town
From this point on you can play with zigzag as much as you want. For example, changing the orientation of the zigzag for a bad ending:
Lots of ups and downs:
Or just a few:
It’s up to you (see what I did there?).
You can plot any type of story with the zigzag method. It’s a visual and easy process for a very complex task.
ARIES plays the brave, over bearing “jock”. The Aries women play the character who believes she is tougher than the men and go her own way. They try to lead and do not hesitate to try and kill the murderer but fail. THEIR CHARACTER: The jock ORDER OF DEATH: First
TAURUS only sticks with one person, most likely someone they have a crush on or really trust, and don’t listen to what anyone says. They stay calm and don’t lose their sense of direction. They only follow if they feel it’s right. THEIR CHARACTER: The skeptic ORDER OF DEATH: Last (the survivor)
GEMINI is not on anyone’s side but still listen to what everyone has to say. They act tough but end up getting scared when things get real. Would most likely manipulate anyone who seems ignorant to protect them and would be the ones to push someone to check on the noise, go down the stairs, or open the door first. THEIR CHARACTER: The user ORDER OF DEATH: 7 out of 12
CANCER would definitely be the one to freak out and cry a lot, always sticking with a large group. The Cancer men wouldn’t cry but would still freak out. Since they are really scared, they’re vulnerable so anyone could easily take advantage of them. THEIR CHARACTER: The easy target ORDER OF DEATH: 4 out of 12
LEO tries to dominate by grabbing who ever is willing to go with them. They too try to kill the attacker after it kills Aries to be a hero but fail and dies. THEIR CHARACTER: The bossy leader ORDER OF DEATH: Second
VIRGO is the one who is strongly disliked because of their insulting and aggravating attitude and end up walking alone. They think they know what they’re doing but they really don’t. THEIR CHARACTER: The know-it-all ORDER OF DEATH: 3 out of 12
LIBRA sticks with everyone they can to be fair and does not open their mouth until someone asks their opinion because they don’t want any more issues. THEIR CHARACTER: The innocent one ORDER OF DEATH: 6 out of 12
SCORPIO uses their secretive manners to get ahead of the game. They are in a group for a little while just to see/hear what they plan on doing but once they have the knowledge they want, they go their own way. They end up fighting the killer and get badly injured making the killer think that they’re dead but end up coming back toward the end, defend Taurus, and die. THEIR CHARACTER: The mysterious one/comeback ORDER OF DEATH: 11 out of 12
SAGITTARIUS keeps a positive attitude to persuade the others to stay safe and find a solution. When they see that a few aren’t listening, they just forget about them and keep the attitude going for the rest who aren’t being ridiculous. THEIR CHARACTER: The motivator ORDER OF DEATH: 10 out of 12
CAPRICORN doesn’t give a crap about what the others do unless it involves them living and believe that everyone is weak so they go home and receive a weird phone call. A few minutes later, they’re dead. THEIR CHARACTER: The cynic ORDER OF DEATH: 5 out of 12
AQUARIUS takes in everyone’s thoughts on what to do but still do what they feel is best which is being careful and low key. They over think it so much that they forget to do the simple task of watching their back therefore meeting their doom. THEIR CHARACTER: The ironic one ORDER OF DEATH: 8 out of 12
PISCES seems as if they are going to lose it but use their psychic abilities to protect them and the ones that care. They don’t walk away from anyone and actually go pretty far. THEIR CHARACTER: The shocker ORDER OF DEATH: 9 out of 12
I almost named this theory “Return of the Mother of all Theories” but I thought “The Mother Dearest Theory” would probably be more fitting considering what this is going to be about. If you haven’t caught on by now with the name, let me fill you in… This theory is going to outline why I think Mary Drake is possibly the new A.D.
I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW “But Rachel, what about Melissa/Twin/Any other possible character?” Simply because… There are too many things that point to Mary that I just can’t ignore anymore, and in true PLL fashion there is possibly Hitchcock involved.
From the very beginning when Mary was introduced, she rubbed me the wrong way, something about the way she talks and carries herself screams psychopath to me (and trust me… I’ve spent most of my life researching them.) What she says doesn’t necessarily coincide with what she does, and things have been gradually building up to the point I can’t ignore the signs anymore.
So, let’s start at the beginning so to speak… I’m going to talk about the twins from the Halloween story. We all know how it goes, one twin gets jealous of what the other twin had and then one twin stabs the other. Mary stabbed Jessica, Mary went to Radley, Mary met Pastor Ted and had Charlotte, Mary pretended to be Jessica, Mary got pregnant with Spencer by pretending to be Jessica with Peter (which is the huge secret Jessica and Peter had that they had a deal with), and Mary is batshit fucking crazy.
Also let me ask this question, did we all just up and fucking forget this happened?
How the hell did we forget that Mary dressed up as her dead sister to scare Alison (AND PUT HER IN THE HOSPITAL) and for that matter… How in the bloody hell did Mary know what Jessica was buried in if she wasn’t there burying herself. And for that matter, it would mean she ways the one who not only buried her- but she was there when Alison was buried as well. If you remember in season 5 when Alison came back to rosewood and Jessica’s body was found, Alison got a video of her mother being buried with a text attached saying “I buried her the same way I watched her bury you.”
To be fairly truthful whether Mary stabbed Jessica doesn’t matter, the facts are that Mary spent a lot of time in Radley where (like I’ve outlined multiple times in other theories and it actually comes into play later…) Mary assumes Jessica’s identity which confirms not only that she was the mother Bethany was talking about and the “is it like mother like daughter?” Was referring to Mary and Charlotte and not Jessica and Alison, which is confirmed by the flashback of Jessica screaming at Alison that Cece was at Radley calling herself Alison.
Now to my favorite part… The Hitchcock aspect. Does everyone remember that scene where Hanna was being tortured in the barn and she hallucinates that’s Spencer is there stroking her hair and singing a song? (The same song and scene that they recreated with Mary and Spencer in the 7x10)
Yeah that’s not a coincidence, look at Mary’s history… She assumes Jessica’s identity, she assumes Charlottes identity as A.D., she’s now assuming Spencer’s identity. Yes, my friends… PLL is pulling a reverse Psycho where Mother assumes the role of Norman instead of the other way around. Think about it, what’s the FIRST thing she does? Buy the lost woods, just as Norman Bates did with his mother and the bates motel. And just as Norman Bates assumed the identity of his mother, Mary seems to take the personality of her daughters on- becoming A.D. As Charlotte was A, and now becoming more caring, calm, and subdued like Spencer… Also people have been passing around this photo:
I’d like you to notice something, look at the make-up and body language of both the scene where Spencer’s with Hanna and this scene compared to Mary’s tea cup scene… That ISN’T Spencer in there… That’s Mary. Confirmed by the fact Andrea was wearing the EXACT dress she was wearing.
Also, since we know for sure Mary and Archer we’re working together (and that she was helping torture Alison) guess who the only other person was who knew about the barn? Yep. Mary. And what just happened last episode? Hanna getting locked in like she was back in the barn, considering Archer is dead… There’s really only one other person who knew. Mary.
Mary seems to have a pattern of assuming the identities of people she’s close with, so naturally that next step would be Spencer.
Mary showed up before Charlotte died and A.D. Was introduced just as Charlotte appeared once Mona lost the game as A after season 2.
Mary bought the Lost Woods where Hanna was kidnapped and tortured. And for that very matter how in the living fresh hell did she get that money in the first place?
Mary was known to be working with Archer and we know for a fact whoever A.D. Is not only worked with Archer but knows the girls killed him.
We know for a fact that Mary was involved with everything because she LITERALLY SAYS TORTURING ALISON IS WHAT CHARLOTTE WOULD HAVE WANTED. Just like some antagonist I know of who seems to be targeting the girls because they think they had something to do with Charlotte’s death.
We also know Jessica had some sore of heart condition and trouble getting to sleep (as per her prescriptions) that I don’t know… Would probably coincide with a devastating childhood trauma involving her twin sister?
Which would only make Mary hate Jessica even MORE causing her to assume Jessica’s identity. “But she was in Radley!” Doesn’t it seem odd to anyone how the twin story was put in chronological order to where oddly a Radley sanitarium car shows up at the house the exact DAY the twin story is told?
This would also mean Charlotte, Mary, and Bethany were all in Radley at the same time and if that doesn’t scream trouble incoming I don’t know what does. This also brings me to the obvious blatant lie that Mary and Charlotte didn’t know each other. She literally called herself Cece Drake. The same last name. And Mary says with quite confidence “You’re the only man my daughter truly ever loved”
Side-note, whoever is revealed as Jessica’s killer could’ve possibly made the mistake of thinking they were killing Mary instead of Jessica, in which case you’d think it would throw the theory off course- but it actually doesn’t. It could’ve been Charlotte and she lied about it, it could’ve been someone who thought Jessica was Mary by mistake, it could’ve been Mary herself. But the signs point to Mary as being her killer, or at least being there as Jessica was being buried per her clothes a la zombie Jessica in 6x20.
Now as per why… Simple answer, Mary wants everything that she feels was taken from her. She wants the life that she feels was taken from her. She wants revenge for the daughter she lost. She wants revenge on the families who had what she always wanted.
As for Charlotte’s killer (If she’s dead at all…) I will tell you that you’d do well to watch Mona. Or even possibly someone who appears to be Mona. They’re going to bring in Melissa and Wren to make it appear as though they have something to do with it, revealing things that we’ve wondered about them for a long time…
And Melissa’s luggage bag handle may have been missing but I would like to remind you… Who paid off the mechanic and drove the huge truck that nearly ran over Emily to get it back?
I hope the theory was well worth the wait, it was good to get back in the theory game again.