Tag Archives: novel structure

The Quickest Plot Structuring Tool There Is

Fastest Structure

I used to be an over plotter. A plotter who annoyed herself because she couldn’t do anything until she had planned ten ways to Sunday. Thank god I came to my senses and pulled the rod out of my arse! Continue reading

Writespiration #1

This is the series of posts that should help my fellow writers with writers block or if your just in need of some inspiration.

Why is the name blacked out? What’s the story behind it? What does it mean? How would your character investigate or react to finding a blacked out name? What happens next?

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Write Tips #1 Scene Lists

heller

I am going to run a series of writing tips posts, and a series of writing inspiration posts. As an aspiring writer myself, I am constantly researching and reading other peoples blogs and tips, so I figured why not share the nuggets of wisdom I’ve found for all the other aspiring writers out there.

Scene Lists –

When drawing up your novel structure, something to think about is a scene list – akin to an outline – it helps to formalise the order and details of your scenes – in order. If you use a spreadsheet or table it also makes it super easy to rearrange them. Plus when you need to quickly remember your story – or certain aspects this sheet will provide an easy to read, easy to navigate summary for you.

Key things to include in your scene structure:

  • Chapter title
  • Chapter number
  • Summary sentences of content / key action points
  • Proposed word count
  • Actual word count
  • Scene location
  • Any foreshadowing

Theres a link here to nine famous authors scene charts.

Write Tips #0 Seven Point Plot System

Struct1

I am a planner, down to my core, and no more so then when planning my novel. I have been toying with trying to understand how much planning is too much, and it’s always a difficulty, particularly for someone who really does love all things planned, structured and organised!

I had been having issues understanding exactly how to structure my novel, how to ensure that it was structured correctly, whether the structure I was creating was even a ‘story structure’ you know – one of the ones you find in an actual book – a published one!

Anyway in amidst my writing strife, I recently discovered the seven-point plot structure, and a lecture by Dan Wells, a pretty successful writer, who has written and published several successful novels.

He talks through the seven-point plot structure in detail with examples of famous stories to make it ’real’. The summary is:

Hook –   (HERE 2nd ) If you know your ending – your start is generally the opposite stance – if you end with someone in prison – then they need to start free.

Plot Turn 1    (HERE 4th) introduce conflict here, it’s the point that moves you from the hook to the midpoint

Pinch 1           (HERE 6th) Apply pressure, force the characters into action (often introduces the villain.

Midpoint        (HERE 3rd ) this is the exact point in the story where your characters move from reaction, to action. Note it doesn’t have to be physically in the middle of the book.

Pinch 2           (HERE LAST) apply even more pressure – make the situation seem hopeless.

Plot Turn 2    (HERE 5th ) This moves you from midpoint to ending, its where you obtain the final piece of the puzzle in order to get to the end.

 Resolution   (START HERE) Everything leads to this point – make sure you know  what your ending is.

To watch the whole lecture (which I strongly advocate) visit youtube here.

The reason I love this so much, is because it was simple, clear, and only 7 sentences, it gave me such a clear understanding of my story arc, that my head felt clear and able to pad out the subplots, character sheets and all the other faff that comes with planning a novel. Its clear and simple, and forces you to go back to basics – if you can’t write your story into this structure then there’s probably something fundamentally wrong with your novel.

Hope it helps – let me know what you think of it.