Ticking Clock

The last few consultations have brought writers with well thought out scenes that draw the reader into the Beginning 1/4 of the project. Each one was able to develop the character emotional development through dramatic action in the Middle 1/2. In other words, for these three writers, three quarters of their projects work, at least on a structural plot level.However, these same three projects had little or no real Climax to top off the entire work. In each case, the protagonist is reawakened by … [Read more...]

Ain’t it the Way

P"Ain’t it the way?"So ended an email from a best-selling author who had just recounted an exotic plot twist she had come up with now that she was writing the end ~ not brainstorming or plotting out or talking about, but actually writing the end of her second book.Yesterday I spoke to a college writing class. A student asked what everyone worries ~ "Won't the universal story template lead to formulatic outcomes?"The act of creation is an amazing thing.The linear, organized approach of … [Read more...]

Reading Conference

Yesterday ended three days at the 40th Annual California Reading Association Conference.I presented as an author and a speaker. With a background in special education as a non-verbal dyslexia child and an adult speech pathologist and learning disability therapist, I brought my passion for plot to share with teachers. One teacher arrived; she was also an aspiring writer. The other attendees were my fellow author presenters, a testiment to comaraderie and all writers' hunger for plot.Writers are … [Read more...]

Cause and Effect/Beginnings

The first quarter of any writing project introduces the story's major characters, their goals, the setting, time period, themes, and issues. In the quest of accomplishing this task, many writers forget the importance of Cause and Effect. When scenes come at a reader one after another with nothing linking them together, the piece feels episodic and thus, off-putting to the reader.Consider instead finding ways to link the scenes by Cause and Effect. Ask yourself: Because this just happened in this … [Read more...]

For the Scene Only

Watch your delivery of backstory ~ the story of what, in the past, made the character who they are today (in story time). Writers want to cram everything right up front. "I know all their history, why would I want to withhold it from the reader?" "I wrote it that way." "It's the good part." Writers spend lots of time imagining and writing every little detail about a character's past, be it for a child or an adult. So, of course, writers would want to tell everything right away. Perhaps, in the … [Read more...]

What’s the Point?

Rarely do I read a writer’s work before a plot consultation, other than the Character Emotional Development Profile (on the Tips page of www.BlockBusterPlots.com) for the main character(s) and the Thematic Significance Statement for the project. So, I can't prove this impression. But, I wonder if the writers who start out really verbal and attempt to tell me everything at once, write that way, too. In other words, is the first 1/2 hour of settling down into the plot consultation process mirrored … [Read more...]