Tag: writing (page 1 of 4)

For Writers. Plot III: Narrative Structure

The following is just a template. I’m a big believer in learning the craft, then breaking the rules. But you have to learn the craft first. There are other plot templates, but if you examine them, they all sort of fit the one in the slides below. When I wrote with Jennifer Crusie, she used four acts with three turning points. That also can fit.

My wife and I watch a lot of TV since our work and our hobby is story. One thing we’re noticing is much more experimentation with structure and time. Bending and breaking the rules. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 

Another thing I truly believe is that there are NO RULES. I call my book on writing a Toolkit because it isn’t a hammer’s fault if you pull it out and try to use it as a saw. During my workshop, I never say “you did it wrong.” I don’t think anyone can say that. I tend to ask “Why did you do that?”

img_0398-2_1024One thing I use when I teach is show film clips as examples of each part of the structure. I can’t put those up here because of copyright issues. But you can start studying books and films and note the parts.

Something I’m a big fan of is watching a movie or series over again. The first time you’re watching to see what happened. The second time, since you know what happened, you’re watching to see how they wrote it. That’s always a fascinating experience.

Heavy is the head filled with such deep thoughts!



For Writers. Plot I: Narrative Questions and Book Dissection

There are a lot of questions that have to be answered when writing a novel. I think asking them both before starting to write the book gives focus, and asking them after a draft is done allows for great editing.

Book Dissection means taking a book that is like what you want to write and tearing it apart. This isn’t plagiarism. This is being smart. Many very successful authors did this. It’s how you learn how a successful novel is put together.

Here is my slideshow on this subject via Slideshare.

100_0112-2 If you’re interested in joining my Facebook team, drop an email to bobandjen@coolgus.com

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and these posts!  Cool Gus says hey– this is him a few years ago after conquering Puget Sound, when we lived on Whidbey Island.

novelwriterThe Novel Writers Toolkit.

For Writers. Plot II: Outlining

The bane of many writers existence. First, the question is: Do I have to outline?

The answer. It depends. What kind of writer are you? Front-load or back-load? Pantser or Plotter? Do you even know?

More importantly than those questions is this: is your current Process working for you?  Process is a term I focus on more and more after a quarter century of writing. I’m constantly working on mine, trying different things.

Here part of my presentation on Outlining. I think most of it’s self-explanatory, but if you have an questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

img_0301_1024I hope you’re finding these posts useful! Cool Gus certainly does.

Maybe. Perhaps. Hard to tell sometimes as he’s rarely awake. It’s a tough life but someone has to do it!

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