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A Look at the 20 Key Scenes of a Fantasy Novel

Let’s jump right into this week’s contribution to our look at the ten key scenes you need in your novel. We’ve been spending a lot of weeks delving into my 10-20-30 Scene Builder Concept, and we’ve looked at what those first ten scenes are that provide the framework for a solid story.

I also showed you how you can layer in the next ten scenes with a subplot or a romance plot. This layering of ten scenes can be done with any genre and any POV structure. Just know this: if you don’t have your foundational scenes in place, and in the right place, your novel may collapse.

While every novel is different, notwithstanding genre, those that align closest to strong, expected, tried-and-true novel structure usually have the better story. Readers expect novels to follow a certain structure (though they may never realize it). It’s what they’re used to. Continue Reading…

Ten Foundational Scenes of a Fantasy Novel

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…

Understanding Plots and Subplots When Layering Scenes in Novels

A few weeks back, I shared some posts on how writers can layer subplot scenes over the ten foundational novel scenes.

Subplots are terrific if done well, so if you’re writing a novel and you don’t have a subplot, think about adding one. If you missed these posts, go back and check them out.

We’re spending some months exploring my 10-20-30 Scene Builder Concept. Since novel writing is a dog of a task, and it’s daunting to figure out how to transfer all those great scene ideas into a solid story, using a system that helps you build wisely is the key.

While it’s fine to just lay out all your scenes in advance in some sort of intuitively logical order, that often proves disastrous. If a writer doesn’t have a seriously strong grasp of novel structure, it’s not going to be easy to wing it when it comes to organizing scenes. Continue Reading…