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Planning out a novel? Be sure to join my newsletter for a FREE plotting/revision roadmap , and check out the full series on plotting novels in a free PDF ! Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at two plotting methods.
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:
How to Develop a Plot Have the characters and the setting, but not the circumstance? Difficulty developing that devious path that the character must travel? Never fear,... How to Develop a Plot Line Every serious author will tell you each writer develops his own methods of doing things.
Before your begin writing your novel, you have to have your plot outlined and fully developed. Or so we're told. Writing has no rules, save to make your story the best you can make it. Other than that, it is a case of 'whatever works for you.' It depends on the writer and it depends on the story.
I created a solid plot and various sub-plots for my story. Learning to create a convincing plot was difficult, and several aspects of the sub-plots will change as I develop the characters and setting more deeply in the novel. Some of the resources in this blog entry could help you to create and develop a compelling plot to your story. I hope you will find some solid information to help you begin a rich and satisfying journey in writing your first book. Definition of Plot
Many writers plan the characters, goals, and conflicts before they write a story. There are many different ways to plot a novel , and this story map is one of the many methods. Based on the classic narrative structure, story mapping can be used for novels, short stories, and screen plays equally well.
Many novelists mull over story ideas, letting them ripen and develop over time. When the story is ready to be told, instead of just sitting down and starting to type, try the Snowflake Method. This step-by-step way to write a novel begins with essential elements and becomes more detailed with each step. Essential Elements for Novel Structure Snowflakes have a structure which begins with a simple form and adds more elements to create complex patterns. Novelist and physicist Randy Ingermanson created the Snowflake Method to break novel-writing into steps that build on each other in the same way.
The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi , who also identified 36 situations.
Hook Your Readers With Tension By Laura Backes, Write4Kids.com Tension. Without it, life would be—let's face it—boring. So would fiction.
The struggle and change of your protagonist is what makes a story a story. Many writers get caught up in giving their readers details of crisis when the true draw of a story, the thing we as readers want to know, is the metamorphosis of the character. Conflict Versus Crisis The difference is that crisis is usually a circumstantial event or action, such as a car accident, a robbery, a break-up in a relationship. Conflict is the choices or struggles the character has to make, sometimes because of crisis.
How to Avoid Plot Cliches: Tips for Writers on Increasing Their Chances of Publication | Suite101.comGetting a book published is even more of a challenge if the story is overloaded with cliched situations. It might be time to check that novel in progress... Nobody ever said plotting was easy. And because it's not easy, an alarming number of writers settle for so-called 'plot cliches'. Although the cliched situations that follow can appear in any story, some are more likely to be seen in a particular genre. For example, romance writer Francesca Hawley's blog has an amusing post on Heroines Too Stupid to Live .
The plot notebook should be something a writer can scribble ideas into, cart around in a backpack or a handbag, throw in the glovebox of the car or keep (all friendly-looking and dog-eared) next to the computer. The emphasis is on user-friendly . Face it, anything that looks too formal and imposing is not likely to be used... like those oh-so-beautiful notebooks that writers love to give each other as gifts, which then stay on the shelf because they're too nice to write in! What Kind of Notebook Works Well for Plotting Your Book? It's best to start with a book that's divided into sections already. A5 is a good size (compact enough to fit into a decent-sized handbag, and small enough to open up comfortably in a small space next to a computer).
By Glen C. Strathy Chekhov's Gun is a plot device whereby you introduce an item in the first part of your novel that doesn't seem important to the story at the time, but takes on greater significance later on. The principle was expressed by the great Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, who said that if you put a gun on stage in the first act of a play, it should be fired in the second act.