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Tag Archives: Plot

On Distraction: My 3-for-1 Deal

Tweet I’m a big believer in prewriting. I design my stories, building them with care before I even start writing. Somebody once said even the best battle plan only lasts until the first shot is fired (or something to that effect). It certainly applies to writing. Stories change in the telling. It’s just part of […]

On Scene Lists: What Your Story Needs

Tweet We’ve been talking about long synopses and scene lists this week. Yesterday I went into some detail on what scene lists are for. Today I want to tell you how to write one. It shouldn’t be hard, but it’s definitely going to take some time and thought. So let’s get started! Meat on the […]

On Scene Lists: Building a Novel

Tweet This week, your big NaNoWriMo prewriting assignment is to develop a long synopsis, or scene list.  I’ve talked before about writing a plot synopsis (and all its various forms), and tucked in there is a brief description of a scene list: A scene list is primarily useful as a prewriting or editing tool. It […]

On Scene Lists: Complications

Tweet As my sister so kindly pointed out, I’ve fallen a bit behind on the blog posts lately. And that’s after cutting my weekly commitment by half. I still mostly blame schoolwork, but that’s really just my temporary excuse. Give me a week, and I’ll be able to blame NaNoWriMo for a full month. After […]

On the Conflict Resolution Cycle: The CRC Worksheet

Tweet Okay, for a week now I’ve been talking about the Conflict Resolution Cycle worksheet. It’s a questionnaire/assignment I cooked up a couple years back to force a writer through the questions necessary to convert a story idea into an actual narrative. Most of the questions explain themselves, so instead of opening with a big […]

On the Conflict Resolution Cycle: Designing a Narrative

Tweet Earlier this week I told a story. It was one I had to tell, under the circumstances. On the day I launched Gods Tomorrow to the public, you’d better bet I was going to talk about my novel. It works well as an illustration for the writing principles I want to talk about this […]

What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Georges Polti

Georges Polti’s The thirty-Six Dramatic Situations serves as interesting reference material because of his basic premise: that there’s no such thing as an original plot. Humankind exhausted its store of fresh, new situations long ago; “there is nothing new under the sun…”

On Story Structure: How to Design and Write a Plot Point

Tweet Yesterday I explained why you need to know the plot points in your work-in-progress. If you use them right, they can make your story easier to tell and for more compelling to read. Design a Plot Point Like most aspects of writing, all that power and convenience while you’re writing comes directly from the […]

On Story Structure: What is a Plot Point?

Tweet Yesterday I told a story about my rites of passage, about the moments in my life when I grew up. They were turning points in my personal history, and both of them significantly changed my plot. Today I want to tell you a little bit about the ways writers capture that slice of the […]

On Story Structure: Buried Treasure

Tweet I’ve talked before about arguments I lost to my dad (the expert debater) back in high school. I can vividly remember the last of those. Well…not the last argument I lost to my dad (which is, God willing, still many, many years in the future), but the last argument I lost in high school. […]