Monday, May 23, 2011
Three Tips for Monday
I tend to be a plot first kinda girl. My stories all begin with a 'What if this happened?' question. After I have a plot idea in place, I start wondering about what kind of person would have the worst time overcoming the problems I've lined up.
So, because I love plotting so much, I thought I'd give you three of my tips for plotting a story.
1. Read James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure. If you haven't read this book, and you want to write fiction...you're making a hard journey harder. This book will break down the essential elements of successful story structure and show you ways to make sure your plot is tight and fast. Jim Bell is a great communicator, and you won't be sorry you read this book. I have read it several times, and it continues to be the GO TO book that I recommend for all beginning writers.
2. List the FOUR biggest things you want to happen in your novel. The inciting incident, the boost in the middle, the black moment, and the conclusion. If you know the major mile-markers in the story, it's easier to see what you need to do, the scenes you need to write to get your characters logically from each place to the next.
3. Write a list of scenes. One sentence, one paragraph, as much as you can fit on a post-it...whatever you're comfortable with. This forms a loose outline, framework, whatever you're comfortable calling it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, a plot-first or character-first writer?