Plotting With Michael Hague's Six Stage Plot Structure By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy So far we've discussed the Three-Act Structure, the Hero’s Journey, and the Save the Cat Beat Sheet. That leaves one more popular structure--Michael Hague's Six Stage Plot Structure. (Side note, if you ever get an opportunity to sit in on one of Hague's workshops, I highly recommend them.) This structure is a great choice for those who want a minimal amount of outlining. Extra tip: It's also a solid template for writing a synopsis when you're getting ready to submit your manuscript. Act One: First 25% Like every other act one so far, this starts out with the protagonist being who he is and getting an opportunity to act. 0-10% - Stage One: The Setup: The protagonist is fully in his identity. 10% Mark - Turning Point One: Opportunity: Something happens that provides an opportunity for the protagonist to act, and this will lead him to what will ultimately make him happy and complete. Act Two: 25-75% 75-100% - Act Three And there you have it.
Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps By Glen C. Strathy How would you like to create a plot outline for your novel in less than an hour that is emotionally compelling and dramatically sound? The secret is to incorporate the 8 Basic Plot Elements. Sound intriguing? I'll describe each of the eight elements in turn. On the other hand, if you already have a draft for a novel, that you're looking to revise, then ask yourself, as we go through these elements, whether you have included them in your story. 1. 15K+Save The first element to include in your plot outline is the Story Goal, which we covered in detail in the previous article, The Key to a Solid Plot: Choosing a Story Goal. For instance, let's say we want to write a story about a 38-year-old female executive who has always put off having a family for the sake of her career and now finds herself lonely and regretting her choices. There are many ways we could involve other characters in this goal. ... a mother who wants her to be happier. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. 8.
102 Resources for Fiction Writing « Here to Create UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters What are the Sixteen Master Archetypes? Character: A compilation of guidance from classical and contemporary experts on creating great dramatic characters Building Fictional Characters Fiction Writer’s Character Chart Character Building Workshop Tips for Characterization Fiction Writer’s Character Chart
Fill in the Blanks: A Plot Template to Keep you on Target By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Last week I shared some great plotting tips from Southpark creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I've been using them myself as I revise, but I couldn't stop thinking of other ways to apply this technique. I was also thinking about something a commenter said, and how this applied to the bigger marco issues, not just in the smaller goal-driving aspects. I was working on a blog post for that when it hit me. This could make a really cool plot template. The tip works on a micro level to see if your protagonist's actions are driving the plot, but when you pull back, you can also see how the entire scene works on a larger scale. Nya is trying to steal eggs for breakfast when she's caught by a night guard. This describes the first scene. Nya goes to the Healers' League to get rid of the pain she healed the night before. The cause and effect between these scenes: The boys see her shift pain, therefore/and so they tell the Elders about her. Trying to.
Cliffhangers: Not Just for the End of a Book Pitches, queries, back cover copy, and full-length stories all have writing techniques in common. For one thing, they all need a strong opening. We talk about that being a “hook,” something that grabs the reader and pulls them forward to the next line, paragraph, and page. A similar approach works within our stories too. Anyone who’s beta read for me can attest that I use these cliffhanger-type lines at the end of many scenes and chapters. One of the workshops I attended at the Desert Dreams conference this past weekend was called Hooks and How to Use Them: From First to Last Word! “[It] leaves the reader wanting more—more information, more emotion, more of the story.” However, just like in real life, being in constant crisis mode can be draining. On the other hand, we have to be careful not to release the tension too much. Terri shared four main types of hooks: These hooks all maintain the tension in a story, but some cause a more immediate sense of crisis than others.
reference for writers Free Beat Sheet Template – Simple Story Development Tool There are many ways to create a “beat sheet.” On a computer. On a sheet of typing paper. On the back of an envelope. 3 by 5 cards. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a “beat sheet” is a bulleted listing of the scenes in your story. Your beat sheet can be generic (such as, “Hero meets prospective love interest”)… or specific (“Butch sees Rachel being interviewed on the news and realizes he has to meet her”). In fact, one of the ways you use a beat sheet is to evolve the generic toward the specific. If you can identify your major story milestones here, you can begin to identify the ramp-up and reactive scenes that surround them. When you’re done, you’ve got your story on one or at least several pages. Each of the four sections shows 14 beats, or scenes. Huge thanks to Storyfix reader Rachel Savage, who provided this for us. Click. Yes, you can. Will it be final? That’s what the beat sheet is for. Enjoy. CLICK HERE to get your reprintable beat sheet template.
Fiction University: Quiet Time: Handling Non-Action Scenes By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy We all know we’re supposed to keep our stakes escalating and our scene moving forward, but too much too fast can wear our readers out. How do you handle the quieter, in-between scenes where the world isn’t coming to and end and things have slowed down? Whoa, There Structurally speaking, the scenes between the scenes are called sequels. Trouble is long sequels usually equal a bored reader, because nothing is happening. Go Inside One of my favorites is to focus on the internal conflicts for a bit. How might your protagonist react or try to deal with a recent choice or action? (More on how to fix a stalled scene here) Drop Breadcrumbs These are also good times to lay a little groundwork and foreshadow what’s to come. Set the Mood Tone and mood are other handy tricks for crafting quiet scenes, and can also work well with foreshadowing techniques. (More on moving from scene to scene here) What a Revelation! (More on re-energizing dead scenes here)
navigation Worksheets for Writers The writing community is fortunate to have many great resources. Based on things I learned from phenomenal teachers like Larry Brooks, Michael Hauge, and Martha Alderson, I developed these worksheets* to help all writers, from plotters to pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants). Let me know at my Contact page if there are other worksheets you’d like me to create. Scroll down to see all my worksheets, or click to jump to the one you want… Story Arc Beat Sheets Writing Craft Worksheets Publishing Process Worksheets * With the exception of the Save the Cat Beat Sheet, which was developed by Elizabeth Davis, all worksheets were created by Jami Gold. New to Beat Sheets? Need examples? Note: I love sharing these worksheets, but if you give others the direct links to the files, the links won’t work. Want to Thank Me for These Worksheets? Stay Updated with Jami’s Book Releases and Blog Posts! Want to hear when Jami’s books come out and get pre-order sale prices? Save the Cat Beat Sheet:
Fiction University: Follow the Leader: Moving From Scene to Scene By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Sometimes I find an interesting trick without meaning to. I was going through my novel, Darkfall, skimming chapters and trying to work out how to better weave all my various plot threads together. Since it's the third (and last) book of the trilogy, there are four major plot ideas that all have to be tied together and wrapped up, and I wasn't happy with how they wove together. Things felt too unfocused, even though I liked what was happening on a scene by scene basis. Going through the enders made me see much more clearly where my plot was going, and when an ender left with one problem and picked up somewhere else, it was blindingly clear where my disconnects were. Once I realized what the problem was, it wasn't hard to fix at all. This doesn't mean I followed the scene chronological if a time break was needed. It's a great first draft trick to use to make sure your plot is flowing the way you want it. Think of your plot like a big train.
The Writing Café Creative Writing Worksheets--The Writer's Craft Feel free to download and use the following Creative Writing Worksheets to develop compelling characters and rich, vibrant settings. You’ll find plotting your novel much more manageable with our scene chart. These Creative Writing Worksheets are free for your personal use. Character Worksheet Meeting a well-written character is one of the things that initially hooks a reader, and creates a lasting impression in fiction. I developed the following Create a Character worksheet for my novel writing course. You’ll find this creative writing character worksheet to be helpful without becoming a burden. Setting Worksheet This creative writing worksheet will help you to generate vibrant story settings. When we read we should be able to engage all of our senses, to merge fully with the protagonist. We often use our sense of sight to the exclusion of our other senses, but the other senses trigger the strongest memories and images. Scene Chart Need a spreadsheet to plot your novel?