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An Example of a Suspense Thriller’s 10 Key Scenes

We’re taking a long, hard look at those ten foundational scenes for your novel, and I’m sharing examples submitted by readers of Live Write Thrive—all to show you that you can do this (and should!). While it does take some time and thought, you owe it to yourself and your readers to set up a strong foundation for your novel by working out these key scenes before you start writing.

And if you’ve already written some or all of your first draft, there is no better way to ensure you’ve nailed your foundation than to plug in the scenes you have into the chart. If you find you can’t come up with the scenes and in the proper spots in your story, you may be missing something crucial. It could be your structure is seriously flawed and your story will collapse.

Don’t spend months of your life struggling over your story’s plot and end up with a mess! Take the time to work up a solid story. For the clearest and best way to take your idea and fashion it into a best seller, get my books The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction and the workbook!

These books lay out, step by step, how to come up with a killer concept, how to develop strong, empathetic characters, how to generate high stakes and huge conflict, and how to mine the themes that will hold your story together. Continue Reading…

Nailing That Ten-Scene Foundation for Your Novel

Over the last month or two, we’ve been looking at the ten key foundational scenes you need for your novel. I shared a couple of examples of what these scenes might look like, and you could take just about any best seller and pencil in those ten key scenes and note how they are in just the right place.

I sent out a call for writers to create a chart of their published novel’s ten key scenes. Many took me up on this, and all said it was both fun and challenging. So over the next few weeks, I’m going to show you just how helpful and easy this can be—by sharing these charts submitted by published authors that follow Live Write Thrive.

I’d like to challenge all of you to lay out your scenes using this chart—whether you are just brainstorming your novel idea or have already written or published it. Doing this will save you perhaps weeks or months of time as you struggle to figure out how to tell your great story. Continue Reading…

Layering 20 Scenes to Create a Strong Romance Novel

Last week I probably overwhelmed you by showing you how to integrate the key romance scenes into your foundational ten scenes. This post is a long one too.

Yes, it can be a daunting—but fun!—process to layer in your scenes.

But listen, folks—writing a novel is hard. You can do it the really hard way or you can smooth out the path and make way easier. The hard way is to wing it—go ahead and waste months of your life. I can write a novel in about a month if I plot it out carefully. You can too.

If you are clear about your ten key scenes and have them in their approximate place, you’ve done the hard work of getting the big rocks in the jar. Those pebbles can fit into all the spaces between the rocks. You may have to jiggle the jar a bit to get them to settle in, but that’s part of the process.

We took a look at how you could structure your novel by layering in a complementary subplot with ten additional scenes to make the 10-20 in my 10-20-30 Scene Builder concept. I’ve mentioned that those next ten scenes can really vary. It all depends on the approach you want to take and the genre you are writing in and which POV. Continue Reading…

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