Tag Archive - plotting

Ways Novelists Can Brainstorm Plot and Scenes

We’ve been exploring the difficult task of brainstorming. And since novels are so complex, with so many crucial components that must cohesively work together, the task of brainstorming an entire novel can be daunting—even to seasoned novelists. Without some practical methods to take rough ideas and concepts and work them into beautifully constructed novels, it’s easy to get frustrated and befuddled, and feel like you’re stumbling around in the dark. Continue Reading…

The Universality Is in the Details

I started thinking about universality since we want our novel’s theme to have universal appeal—meaning a whole bunch of people all over the world should be able to relate to it at perhaps any time in history. But while we’re thinking in broad, all-encompassing ideas, I want to make a distinction here.

Don’t make the mistake in thinking that in order to appeal to a wide audience with a universal appeal we have to write in very general terms and details. You may think that the more unspecific you can get with your locale, setting, time period, problems presented, the more universal the novel will be.

You may think if your character can have a general problem—say a bad temper or he’s a Scrooge—a lot of people will identify with him . . . so you decide to not be too specific and take the risk of making your novel’s world so small that no one will relate.

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Plots ~ Bigger Is Better

If you’ve been following this blog all year, you may have noticed I haven’t gone into plot at all except to talk about the visible plot goal of your protagonist. It’s not that I think plot is unimportant. To the contrary. I’m a stickler for tight, engaging, and well-thought-out plots. But because so many writers put so much emphasis on their plot to the detriment of all the other essential book elements in a novel, I’ve been stalling a bit from delving into the topic. Even though I consider myself a character-driven writer, I make no concessions–in my own novels or in my clients’–for any weakness or plot holes. Continue Reading…

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