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The Mythopoet's Manual - Contents. A quick overview of the Hero’s Journey » Jordan McCollum. Planning out a novel?

A quick overview of the Hero’s Journey » Jordan McCollum

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. One helped us parse our story into parts, the other helped us grow it from an idea. But a weakness of both is that neither really tells us what kind of events we need in a story—especially in the sagging middle. The Hero’s Journey is based on the universal archetype work of Carl Jung, as applied by Joseph Campbell. I first learned about the hero’s journey in high school. Ahem. The Hero’s Journey The story begins in The Ordinary World.

Then comes the Call to Adventure. Normally, the hero isn’t interested. Fear doesn’t have to be the only reason for refusal—he may also have noble reasons, or perhaps other characters are preventing him from leaving (on purpose or inadvertently). Sometimes it takes a mentor to get the hero on the right path. The Ordeal. What do you think? A Simple Novel Outline. Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story.

A Simple Novel Outline

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. How to Develop Plot in Fiction. How to Develop a Plot Have the characters and the setting, but not the circumstance?

How to Develop Plot in Fiction

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. The intention of this article is to... How to Develop a Plot for a Story No consensus exists among writers about how to develop a plot for a story. To plot or not to plot. Before your begin writing your novel, you have to have your plot outlined and fully developed.

To plot or not to plot

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. So why are we advised to outline our plot before we begin to write? Most failed stories fail because the writer had a great premise and had no idea, beyond this, of where to go.

Being lost looks like this: writers who keep re-writing the first 12 pages, or who write 4000 pages of which only 5 are worth reading, or who spend 10 years writing, writing, writing, always 'never quite ready' to send it to a publisher, or who sit down every day with panic and fear in their hearts, doing anything, anything but writing. The standard cure is to write from a developed plot outline. Let's look at the two ways of writing a novel: by plot-plan and by no plot-plan at all. Plotting But ... OK, be my guest. Plot: Developing Events in Your Story. I created a solid plot and various sub-plots for my story.

Plot: Developing Events in Your 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 Classic Story Structure Begins with Plot Thickening the Plot Deepen Your Plot The Top Ten Plotting Problems Plots and Stories Writers have varying opinions of the differences between story and plot. Story Vs Plot As a beginning writer, I need to keep the process simple enough to continue in my journey.

Using a Story Map to Write a Book: Method Based on the Classic Narrative Structure in Novel Writing. Many writers plan the characters, goals, and conflicts before they write a story.

Using a Story Map to Write a Book: Method Based on the Classic Narrative Structure in Novel Writing

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. Story mapping software is available, and many writers enjoy using these tools. They all follow basically the same format of the classic story structure. They can range in price from free to several hundred dollars. However, story mapping software is not necessary. How to Use a Story Map This basic structure of the classic story map can be cut and pasted into a word processing document. Who is the protagonist or hero, and what are his or her main qualities? Using Mind Mapping for a Novel Once the story mapping is finished, mind mapping can add more details to the story.

Vladimir Nabokov preferred to write using story details written on index cards. Story Generator. Stories This is a tale about man's need for freedom.

Story Generator

The story is about a xenobotanist fighting against a culture that won't allow him/her to reproduce. It starts in a metropolis. The crux of the story involves a flashback. Cross-species romance is a major element of the story. The story is about an intimidating secretary who is constantly opposed by a librarian. This is a crime caper story. This is a psychological revelation piece with an undercurrent about compassion and the oddities of the human condition. This is a comedy/drama with a strong theme of predetermined destiny. The story is about a weak-willed bandit.

The story is about a musician who was once married to a teacher. This is an on-the-run story with a focus on decay and how man can better himself. The story is about a noisy monk and a veterinarian. This is an epic about the truth of 'survival of the fittest'. How to Plot and Write a Novel: Plan Your Novel Writing with the Snowflake Method. Many novelists mull over story ideas, letting them ripen and develop over time.

How to Plot and Write a Novel: Plan Your Novel Writing with the Snowflake Method

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. 1. 2. 3.

The time-saving factor for novelists here is that at this point, a writer knows whether or not the story has problems. Expand on the Beginning Novel-Writing Steps 4. 5. 6. Plot problems will arise and new insights and ideas will appear through these steps. Revise and Expand into Scenes 7. 8. 9. 10. Ingermanson stresses that the Snowflake Method is not to be hurried. Not for All Writers. Plot Scenario Generator. How to Plot and Write a Novel: Plan Your Novel Writing with the Snowflake Method. The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. 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.

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations

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. Publication history[edit] “Gozzi maintained that there can be but thirty-six tragic situations.

This list was published in a book of the same name, which contains extended explanations and examples. The list is popularized as an aid for writers, but it is also used by dramatists, storytellers and many others. The 36 situations[edit] Each situation is stated, then followed by the necessary elements for each situation and a brief description. See also[edit] References[edit] External links[edit] Plot Scenario Generator. Tension - StumbleUpon. Hook Your Readers With Tension By Laura Backes, Tension.

Tension - StumbleUpon

Without it, life would be—let's face it—boring. So would fiction. Tension works with conflict to raise the emotional level of the text to a boiling point. It forces the reader to become invested in the story. "Tension" is a loaded word, and can be misleading. Tension is what hooks readers of any age and keeps them turning the pages. . * The ticking clock. . * Dialogue. . * Pacing. . * Sentence structure.

Each story requires a different kind of tension. Laura Backes is the author of Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read from Prima/Random House. Copyright © 2002, Children's Book Insider, LLC. Figment: Write yourself in. How to Write Conflict: Understanding the Most Important Part of Writing Fiction - StumbleUpon. 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. Conflict happens inside the character. The two biggest mistakes new authors make are weaving in too many conflicts or focusing too much on crisis. When an author truly encompasses good conflict, the reader is left thinking about the story for days after putting down the book; left wondering what would happen next.

These are the Basic Types of Conflict in a Story: Different genres can focus on different types of conflict or incorporate several. How to Avoid Plot Cliches: Tips for Writers on Increasing Their Chances of Publication. 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. Number 3 on her list of plot cliches is "I shall allow a minor misunderstanding to become a major issue, when a simple conversation would have cleared matters up on page 10. " While this plot cliche is by no means exclusive to romance novels, it does appear rather a lot!

For those who enjoy fantasy (or any writer who just likes a good laugh) Peter Anspach's "The Top 100 Things I'd Do if I Ever Became an Evil Overlord" shows the dumb mistakes that allow the villain to be killed or captured. What is a Plot Cliche? Four Examples of Plot Cliches How Can Writers Avoid Cliched Plots? How to Use a Plot Notebook When Writing a Book: A Simple Plotting Tool to Make Fiction Writing Easier - StumbleUpon. 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). Individual writers will find the way that works best for them, but here are a few suggestions: What Works Best for Writing Books – a Plot Notebook or a Writer's Notebook? A plot notebook is somewhat different from a writer's notebook. Evolution of Four Stories. The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. Chekhovs gun: a useful plot device. - StumbleUpon. 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. According to some sources, he also expressed this in the negative form as: don't put a gun on stage in the first act unless you intend to have it fired in the second. Some writers try to follow this dictate very rigorously and avoid mentioning any object unless it will play a major role in the story, but that is really taking things too far. I believe Chekhov used the example of a gun because a gun isn't just any object. So if you do draw attention to an object, your readers will expect this object to appear again. Here are several ways you can employ Chekhov's Gun: 1. Mrs. 2. 3.

Chekhov's Gun vs.