The last few weeks we’ve been looking at plot patterns as outlined in James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure. This week, we’ll wrap up plot systems with Power and Allegory. #plotting #plotpatterns Click to Tweet To access previous posts, click here.
The last couple weeks we’ve been looking at plot patterns as outlined in James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure. This week, we look at plot patterns of The Chase, and One Against/One Apart. Next week, we’ll wrap it up with Power and Allegory. #plotting #plotpatterns Click to Tweet
Last time, I surveyed what plotting systems could work for a “pantser” or a “No Outline Person.” (NOP). I’m using James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure. #amwriting #plotting systems #plotsystems. What are you—an OP or an NOP? Click to Tweet
Let’s take a look at the various plotting systems outliners or Outline Persons use, from index cards, to headlights, to the Borg.
In his book, Plot & Structure, James Scott Bell talks about two kinds of fiction writers: OPs and NOPs. To outline or not to outline, that is the question. #amwriting #tooutlineornot Bell encourages new fiction writers to try a little of both. Continue reading “Plotting Systems—Part I”
Here’s a great way to start it out: “To initiate your story, your protagonist will either 1) lose something vital and try to regain it, 2) see something desirable and try to obtain it, or 3) experience something traumatic and try to overcome it.” Pg. 42.
There are three basic types of character struggles: internal, interpersonal, and external. Click to Tweet
We’ve all heard about “the middle” of a story and usually what we hear is that it sags, stalls, and slumps. It doesn’t seem to move the story along or go anywhere. James Scott Bell addresses this in chapter five of Plot & Structure.
The middle is typically known as Act II. In a three-act construction, which most stories, plays, and movies are structured, Act II is important because it must move the story along. “What you do in Act II, the middle, is write scenes – scenes that stretch the tension, raise the stakes, keep readers worried, and build toward Act III in a way that seems inevitable.” Pg. 79. How do we do that?
This week, we’re looking at Donald Maas’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. My goal is to inspire and educate you to the basics of writing, and hopefully help you find resources to enhance your writing.
Yesterday, we looked at Lessons 1-12, Part I, Character Development from Donald Maas. The lessons covered everything from adding heroic qualities to a protagonist (the one we root for), to antagonists, to enriching the major cast with secondary characters. I listed one point from each, and encouraged you to acquire this workbook and complete the fill-in exercises at the end of each lesson to help you grow your novel.
Today – I’ll be listing the lessons from Plot Development with a “nugget” from each. This unit covers Lessons 13 to 24, everything from raising the stakes, complications, layering plot lines, subplots, turning points, conflict, and adding tension.
One of my resources for writers is James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. I read some of this book as part of my online writers classes. It’s very good, and covers a lot.
What I like about this book is that he has it laid out very well, and there graphs, tips, quotes, and at the end of each chapter is a set of writing exercises. That’s what makes this book practical. In his Introduction, Bell has six tips which explain what it takes to learn to plot. (from pages 3 – 5) In later posts at later times, we’ll skim through and see what Bell has to offer – or – you can get the book and read it yourself. I’m just going give you a taste of them.
Today’s Recommended Resource: James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. Everything you need to know about plotting out a masterpiece can be gotten from this book.
Example of an Exercise: “Go over the opening chapter of your work in progress (or write one now). What techniques will you use to grab the reader from the very first paragraph?”