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How a Scene List Can Change Your Novel-Writing Life. By the end of this post you will have a nagging urge to use an excel spreadsheet. Don’t make that face—I know you’re a writer and not a data analyst. Or if you are a data analyst—I get that you’re on this blog to get away from your day job. But guess what? At the suggestion of Randy Ingermason—the creator of the Snowflake Method—I listed all of the scenes in my novel in a nice little Google spreadsheet. Creating a scene list changed my novel-writing life, and doing the same will change yours too. Scene Lists Help You Plan I tried to write a novel once before without planning in advance. I used the Snowflake Method, which consists of several steps to designing a novel that we can discuss at a later date.

Today we’re focusing on a particular step: the creation of a scene list. What is a scene list? It’s literally a list of the scenes in your novel in an excel spreadsheet. Column 1: POV. The particulars can be revised at your convenience, but that’s how I set it up. 1. 2. 3. What did I do? How to Storyboard in Scrivener. Storyboarding as it pertains to novels and short stories is the process of mapping out your story, often using index cards, in a high-level way that allows you to see your story visually and rearrange it. Scrivener’s corkboard view provides the perfect interface to storyboard your novel digitally. When Should You Storyboard? The storyboarding process can be undertaken at any phase in the writing of a story. Storyboarding is a tool I use several times during the writing process: before I begin writing (i.e. planning/plotting), during the rough draft (when I get stuck), and when I’m revising. It’s a way to see the big picture, make sure your story has good bones, and that everything logically flows from one scene to the next.

To begin storyboarding, you must at least have an idea for a story. How To Create Your Storyboard in Scrivener Here are the steps to start storyboarding in Scrivener: 1. Move the new folder outside of the Manuscript section in the Binder. 2. 3. 4. 5. Corkboard Settings. 50 Articles on Writing to Help You in 2015WritersDigest.com. Over the past year I posted articles on this blog that covered everything—from grammar to writing better characters to getting published and more. Here’s a cheat sheet linking to what I consider the 50 best articles that can help you reach your writing goals. My goal is to help you move your writing career forward, and, by making this easy-to-reference guide, you’ll have a chance to bookmark it and have a one-stop place to help you have a successful year of writing.

Here’s to your best year of writing! ~Brian 8 Articles on Starting Your Novel 4 Approaches for the First Chapter of Your Novel 7 Ways to Create a Killer Opening Line For Your Novel Important Writing Lessons From First-Time Novelists 7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story The Keys to Good Science Fiction & Fantasy Storytelling Writing Dystopian Fiction: 7 Tips How to Destroy Your Initial Idea (& Make Your Story Better) How to Harness Creativity to Empower Your Writing 9 Articles on Structure, Plot and Character. Home Page. Main/MacGuffin. "In crook stories it is almost always the necklace, and in spy stories it is most always the papers. " MacGuffin (a.k.a. McGuffin or maguffin) is a term for a motivating element in a story that is used to drive the plot. It serves no further purpose. It won't pop up again later, it won't explain the ending, it won't do anything except possibly distract you while you try to figure out its significance.

A man is riding on a train when a second gentleman gets on and sits down across from him. "What is that? " "A MacGuffin, a tool used to hunt lions in the Scottish highlands. " "But there are no lions in the Scottish highlands," says the first man. "Well then," says the other, "That's no MacGuffin". Hitchcock and Angus McPhail were not the first to formulate this concept. On The Other Wiki.

Example subpages: Other Examples: open/close all folders Fan Works In The Prayer Warriors, during "The Battle With the Witches", the heroes look for five keys to get into Dumbledore's office in Hogwarts. Theatre. Writing Dialect. Most people assume that dialect has to be a part of dialogue. My answer is that it can be, and in certain circumstances it ought to be, but the writer must never feel compelled to duplicate dialects simply for the sake of “authenticity.” The writer who thinks she is writing dialect because she is clipping the ends off of words and stretching out others is often taking delight more in her own experimentation than in any real sense of story. She may be shooting for a folksy charm or for a root authenticity, but most often she fails miserably. Try all you want to make the words unrecognizable—misspell them, cut them in half, throw in a fistful of apostrophes, sound out every groan the character makes—but the truth is, they are still words you’re dealing with.

Consider this example. —By Tom Chiarella Two grandmothers sit on a porch in Tennessee; one of them is trying to convince the other to go into town to get a pie from the grocery store to serve at dinner the next day: But wait. Sit down. How to Craft a Happy Ending. Our writing may be beautiful or plain, may want to sing itself along or proceed with the massive engine that is the great Russian truth-telling machine Anna Karenina. Whether aspiring to become art or settling into the more modest demands of the police procedural, our stories sober us with this thought: the rules are basically the same, and – when it comes to endings – these rules are rather inflexible. The most basic rule of storytelling? We won’t be able to keep our readers reading our writing — gorgeous or no – unless they believe it is moving toward a happy ending. Guest post by Jane Vandenburgh, the acclaimed author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, the nonfiction book, Architecture of the Novel: A Writer’s Handbook, and the memoir, The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century.

Her new memoir, The Wrong Dog Dream was just released in April 2013 by Counterpoint Press. A happy ending? (Get 3 practical tips on writing a book made easy.) Your Novel Blueprint. A Simple Novel Outline – 9 questions for 25 chapters « H.E. Roulo. Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story. By defining those before you begin you clarify the scope of your work, identify your themes, and create the story you meant to write. At Norwescon 2011 I sat in on a session called Outline Your Novel in 90-minutes led by Mark Teppo. I’ll give you the brief, readable, synthesized version. Answer 9 questions and create 25 chapter titles and you’re there. Here are the 9 questions to create a novel: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.) 8.) 9.) Now, with those 9 questions answered to your satisfaction, try to fill in a 25 chapter, 75,000 word outline. Chapters 7-18 are the middle of your book.

Chapters 19-25 depict the heroic act to victory. Wasn’t that easy? Okay, sure, the work isn’t done yet. Using the idea that there are 25 chapters, I outlined my current work in progress. I hope that was helpful. Tell me what works for you. Related 6 Steps to Masterful Writing Critiques. Fiction Writing | Daily Writing Tips. Back story. How to Weave Backstory Into Your Novel Seamlessly Today's guest newsletter is from Karen Dionne, contributor to Writer's Digest. My first science thriller, Freezing Point , opens with the crew of a fishing trawler braving rough seas off the coast of St.

John’s, Newfoundland: The wind howled around the solitary trawler like an angry god. Inside the wheelhouse, Ben Maki braced himself as an errant wave hit broadside and the trawler listed heavily to starboard. Who is Ben Maki? Backstory refers to the characters’ history and other story elements that underlie the situation at the start of the book. But as authors, we need to be careful: Backstory by definition takes the story backward. Too Much, Too Soon One of the most common mistakes I note when I’m called upon to offer comments on aspiring authors’ manuscripts is that the author has included too much backstory in the opening pages. Including backstory in the opening pages is the same as saying to the reader, “Wait a minute—hold on.

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Are You Writing a Book With a Hook or a Gimmick?