Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene

high tideDaily, I walk along a path above the Monterey Bay or at sea-level along the shoreline. The tide determines my route. High-tide swallows the beach and sends waves crashing against the cliffs. Low-tide brings a return of the sand and reveals treasures left behind. Writing is like the tide — a balance between planning the overall plot of your story — broad view or at the macro-level — and incorporating the seven essential elements at the scene or at the micro-level. Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene offers templates for both.

Gazing from above at the flowing surf and endless view inspires my imagination and dreamy attention to the broader whole. As the tide ebbs, I scurry down flights of stairs cut into the seawall. With my toes buried in the sand, I become fixated on the short-view, what’s right in front of me.

low tide

Ebb and flow is the rhythm of the universe. The universal story moves with the currents of energy that create the life force itself.

In the Flow

When energy and ideas flow, taking action becomes effortless and even euphoric. Step-by-step, you’re in the current, oblivious to anyone around you, at one with your imagination, the muse. Fixated on the particulars, you sink into writing the details and emotions of the next scene, the next paragraph, and the next chapter. 

The Scene Tracker tracks scene-by-scene all the dates and settings; the character’s emotional development and goals; the dramatic action; conflict; and the thematic significance, so that the whole does not become a tangled mess. The Scene Tracker helps you interweave all the threads for a successful narrative.

The Scene Tracker tracks scene-by-scene all the dates and settings; the character’s emotional development and goals; the dramatic action; conflict; and the thematic significance, so that the whole does not become a tangled mess. The Scene Tracker helps you interweave all the threads for a successful narrative.

Writing Blockbuster Plots supports your creative flow with the help of the Scene Tracker template. Create a Scene Tracker for your own individual story. Learn the particulars, details, emotions, and all the elements available to you to create conflict, tension, suspense, curiosity and page-turnability in every single scene of your story. 

Big Picture Ebb

Inevitably, your energy and enthusiasm ebbs. Rather than doubt yourself or turn your attention to something else, stand back and view the big picture of your story. Times when the energy and passion for the actual writing ebbs deliver a great opportunity to organize your ideas, reevaluate your vision, commit to the next course of action. 

What is your story truly saying about an emotional life? Does the energy rise and fall, ebb and flow in each scene?

Characters experience ebbs and flows on the way to her goal. Scenes where the protagonist controls the action moves her ever nearer to her goal. Scenes where an antagonist dominates, the protagonist is pushed back, diverted, misunderstood.

photo copy 16You, too, experience this same ebb and flow as you write a story with a plot from beginning to end.

When words fail you, turn to brainstorming what comes next, solutions for potential pitfalls, opportunities to deepen the emotional meaning, and the effects of what you’ve just written to what’s coming. Assess the ebb and flow of the character’s progress toward her ultimate goal. Consider all sides of your vision with the help of a Plot Planner.  

Learn how to create a Plot Planner and determine which scenes belong above the line and those that belong below the line, test for Cause and Effect, and so much more in Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene.

Review

Writing Blockbuster plotsWriting Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene by Martha Alderson is specifically designed to demystify how story writing works. It shows aspiring writers how to track the seven most important elements of a scene on a Scene Tracker, and how to use her Plot Planner to develop a multi-layered plotline for each individual project. 

Writing Blockbuster Plots also provides useful analysis of scenes written by classic and contemporary writers such as Twain, McCarthy, London, Fitch, Chopin, and Letts, all of which will help show writers how to: Pre-plot Link scenes through cause and effect; Determine which scenes are flat and why; Set up tension, conflict and suspense; Develop complex characters; Establish compelling action; Re-vision rewrites; Clarify themes; Deepen and expand narratives.

Detailed, comprehensive, insightful, instructive, and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ in organization and presentation, Writing Blockbuster Plots is exceptional and very highly recommended for aspiring writers.” —Midwest Book Review