Tag Archive - Novel Structure

Using the Ten Key Scene Structure to Frame Up Your Novel

You’ve spent days, maybe weeks or months, brainstorming the terrific novel you’re about to write. You’re sure you have a killer concept that’s original and compelling.

You’ve studied your genre and torn apart best sellers in order to ensure you know just how to write a novel that has the potential to sell big. Your folder is full of great scene ideas, and maybe you’ve put your scenes on index cards and you’re ready to lay out your plot from start to finish.

BUT . . . now what do you do? How do you determine which scenes go where? And how do you know you even have the best scenes for your plot?

Do you have too many nothing or irrelevant scenes? Not enough important ones? You wonder: Is my story sketchy? Do I need a subplot? Will the action sag in the middle? Will readers get bored and throw my book across the room? Continue Reading…

The Essential Ingredient in Your Novel’s Concept

I want to talk about concept a bit today.

I believe a lot of novels fail at the concept stage.

I talk at length about this on my blog Live Write Thrive as well as in many of my books in The Writer’s Toolbox Series.

This is truth: if you have a weak concept for your novel, you shouldn’t waste time writing it.

Now, it’s possible to tweak the concept you have—and I detail many ways you can do that in my book—and come up with a killer concept.

But it’s crucial you take a look at your concept and make sure it will hold up. Continue Reading…

What Writers Can Learn from Fred the One-Eyed Cat

Today I want to talk about a one-eyed orange tabby cat named Fred. Some of you are saying, “Oh, yeah, I LOVE Fred!” And others are saying, “Uh . . . Fred who?”

Why should I spend time blogging about Fred? Is he some famous kitty? A character in great literature? No, quiet (well, he does meow) Fred is just a cat who has a role in the terrific movie Gifted.

But not just any role. Some might argue that Fred is a secondary character in the story, and while that may be true, he is actually a carefully crafted plot device for the story. And that’s why I’m bringing him up in this post.

While he rightly is a participant in what could be labeled accurately as a literal and iconic “pet the cat” (or “save the cat”) moment, he has a much more important part to play in Gifted. Continue Reading…

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