Part 1 – Stating the scene goal (1 short paragraph) State what the protagonist‘s goal is and why. Display character emotions of anxiety and suspense. Part 2 – Suspense building (a few paragraphs) Have the[…]
The rules subplot must follow: 1 It must affect the protagonist’s main plot. 2 The subplot character is usually not the ally, the subplot character and the ally have two separate functions. 3 It is a fully realised plot on its own with its own structure.
A reveal is a shocking fact that changes (and explains) everything. A reveal is a shocking fact that changes (and explains) everything. This requires 1 hints that not all is what it seems 2 hints towards the reveal.
A scene is a mini-story, with a beginning, middle and ending. It shows actions, embedded in description and background material.
Each chapter in your book tells a mini-story that forwards your overall plot. Logically, there is no need for chapters in novels at all. You, the writer, could start the book on page one and keep going right to the end…
The organic story finds its end in its beginning. Thus, a great story signals the audience back to the beginning in its ending. A story can have a finality ending, where the story truly ends on the last page of the book. Great books have the story continue in the minds of the audience.
Plot is whatever happens in a story. Plot is built on significant events in a given story. They are significant because they have important consequences. Unimportant events, such as closing a door or braiding your hair are incidents. They don’t have important consequences, unless you are Rapunzel, in which case they are crucial actions. So what makes plot? Cause and effect. On event leads to another event.
Writing the action scene. Growing up in our cosy modern day lives, it’s easy to forget how natural and common violence truly is. People use violence, simply because it works.
A story is a communication that expresses an artistic description of how a person can grow or evolve. It follows a specific structure of seven organic steps taken with human change.
The denouement is everything that follows after the climax, with one purpose: to wrap up the story. Readers now crave two things. First, a final reactionary scene to show the consequences of the plot and the fate of the characters. Second, answers to all remaining story-questions.
Beginnings explain who the story is about and how they got into the story-worthy problem situation. First we see our protagonist in his ordinary world (however not-ordinary this world may be for the reader, it’s normal life for him.)
Act II is the major part of the novel. It is the confrontation, a series of battles between the Lead and the opposition. The various plot strands weave in and out of one another, creating a feeling of inevitability while at the same time surprising the reader in various ways.
Just when you’ve come up with an idea, you hear about a book/play/film/whatever that has nearly the exact same plot. You’re devastated, thinking you need to abandon your idea and seek a new one. You’re wrong.
In storytelling, background (cause) leads to plot development (effect) and vice versa. Stimulus and response are a form of cause and effect.
The inciting incident: the incident that kicks off a chain reaction, leading the protagonist to the story-worthy problem.
Surface problems reflect the actual story-worthy problem but are insufficient to sustain an entire story. Any author should have a firm understanding of the main problem as it helps to provide your protagonist with initial surface problems to kick of the action.
Scenes exist to make events happening in your fictional world feel real to the reader. Each scene must therefore relate to the plot. Every single one.
Coincidences happen every day in real life. In fact, things happen against all odds, every second of every day. So why shouldn’t you have a coincidence happen in your book? You can, if you do it right, if it’s meaningful. But if you’re not carefully laying foundations for your plot then your characters end up as nothing but puppets dragged around by strings.
At this point, the reader has felt and seen the forces gather against the protagonist. Absolute disaster is just around the corner. The way you set up the story up to this point, determines the expectation readers have about how it will end. For them, it’s more than an expectation, it’s a silent promise you made. A noisy action packed story promised a big bang at the end. A subtle story promised a quiet ending.
Part 1: Develop your idea
Step 1: Decide which genre you want to write in.
How do you know what genre you should write in? Easy, the genre you love to read. This is the genre you are most familiar with, with ready examples to look back on if you need a little help and most importantly, you should write a story you’d love to read. Walk over to your bookcase (or e-book reader of choice) and pick up the books you have read with the most passion. What genre are they? That’s the one for you.