A step-by-step method for building a successful storyline. This 8.5" x 11" workbook guides you from basic story idea to a solid storyline. Designed for the busy lifestyle, it's simple enough to read in one sitting, yet powerful enough to demonstrate the mysteries of story structure.
Updated to include scenes and plot points from Beyond the Quiet!
In my profession as a fiction editor, one of the main problems I've encountered in aspiring novelists' manuscripts is the lack of proper story structure.
Contrary to myths, a good skeleton does not inhibit a writer's imagination. Instead, a sound and accepted structure provides the exciting changes that lead to story satisfaction, which is what your audience expects.
Today's readers are more sophisticated than ever before, and they instinctively know and expect certain things to happen in your story. If these incidents do not occur, the reader may be left dissatisfied and disappointed. They may have purchased your first novel, but may hesitate to buy your next.
Don't let that happen!
I've included two one-page charts to help you place the scenes in your novel. No more endless rows of index cards on your carpet, no more pages to thumb through and lose. I teach you structure and show what specific scenes are critical to every modern novel. My instructions are easy to follow. I've even demonstrated with examples from both of my novels, Beyond the Quiet and Ten Times Guilty, and show you where and why I placed major scenes.
With These Easy Charts You Will LEARN TO PLOT.
...How to construct a dramatic storyline from a basic idea.
...Is your story character or plot driven? What steps are needed for both.
...If you're overwhelmed by facing a blank screen, do this...
...Now we need a character profile, but not too long. I've heard various writing instructors insist you need character history all the way back to when our star brushed her teeth for the first time. If you want to do that, go ahead and list everything including what day of the week she washer her hair. I write a brief summary of my character's physical description--so I won't mistakenly refer to a wrong eye color halfway in the novel, her car's model if she's a contemporary woman, what type of work she doesn and a short personal history. Is she married? Divorced? Siblings? Children? Parents?
...How many leading characters are needed for a well-rounded story? What is their purpose?
...What is the opposition's goal?
...What is essential for every novel, no matter the genre?
At the end of the Character chapter you'll find detailed one-page charts for each of your major characters and secondary ones as well.
From the PLOT DEVELOPMENT chapters:
When plotting your story, you must plan your story events in such a way the reader will worry about the outcome. When the reader worries, she will not put your book down until she finds out what happens.
And I show you the techniques to construct that worry.
...Two simple but effective techniques to create suspense are...'
...What is essential in the beginning of every story?
...Modern stories are divided into three acts, each with its own job to perform. It's great each act has a unique function because it gives us, as writers, Stepping Stones to guide our way through the long maze of blank pages.