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Monday, April 15, 2013

#WritersRoad Chat Recap: Novel Structure

Last Monday night we had another fantastic chat that ended up trending on Twitter! The topic: Novel Structure That Will Hold up. Here are the highlights:

@Heather McCorkle Novels need structure. Think of them like a spine, with vertebrae connecting it all together. Each part is integral. #WritersRoad

@K_Imani: A good backbone also means specific details thought out when world building. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle The first vertebrae introduces the situation and character. It sets the tone and what is at stake. #WritersRoad

@mayaprasadwrite2h Note that the midpoint in the structure is not always the midpoint length-wise. You can be flexible to an extent. #WritersRoad

@TS Tate (Tee) If u dont outline & dont know where ur going, try shooting for scene goals. "By the end of the scene ___ shld happen" #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Once that first vertebrae is established, there should be a sense that the character must move forward to resolve something. #WritersRoad

@Tina Moss ‏ How do you feel about loose ends? I like things tied in bows, but sometimes one open subplot will lead to next book in series. #writersroad

@TS Tate (Tee) ‏@teetate And dont be afraid of structure. No one said u have to write in a certain chronology. Play around w/ it, make it interesting. #writersroad

@Krissi Dallas ‏ I find that conflict often drives a plot. How do you get characters to move? Introduce a conflict. Our lives are the same way! #writersroad

@HeatherMcCorkle: The middle of your book should be lean and athletic. No info dumping, keep things moving. #WritersRoad

@Tina Moss ‏ In fact all genres have some type of "formula" or more broadly a journey type. Unique voice is the key. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle  Always remember that the spine~and your story~leads somewhere. #WritersRoad
 
@Krissi Dallas ‏ I think good plots have circular value. Like, the beginning is import to the end & the end makes you appreciate the beginning. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ If your story~or spine~doesn't lead somewhere, it's like a body without a head. If you're writing a zombie novel that may work. #WritersRoad

@Maya Prasad ‏@mayaprasadwrite We shouldn't see the climax coming, but it should make sense given all we've learned about the character and the world #WritersRoad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Think of subplots and character development like the nerves that come out from the spine. They all connect. #WritersRoad
@TS Tate (Tee) ‏@teetate It's simple really: intro, Inciting Incident, rising action, Crisis Point, climax, falling action, resolution. Boom. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Put simply: If nerve endings, well, just end, they'll die. Tie up all those loose ends! #WritersRoad

Join us tonight for another #WritersRoad chat on Twitter (via Tweetchat) and see what all the fuss is about!

11 comments:

  1. Great tips. Thanks for sharing them. I loved the one about having a goal for a scene and that there needs to be conflict.

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    1. Thanks Natalie! Those are definitely two keys to a good scene.

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  2. Great points, Heather. As a half punster/half outliner, my favorite structure is knowing the inciting incident, mid-book turning point, and way the story ends before I start writing; then writing toward those points. Let's me let my characters let loose a bit. :)

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  3. Some wonderful and very pertinent bits of information here! Thanks, Heather for posting them!

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for dropping by Michael.

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  4. Exciting to see that these have been trending! Good stuff :)

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  5. It's very interesting to get other writers's thoughts on various topics.

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  6. Heather, Thanks for sharing your chat! I was flying from NY to Amsterdam so missed another. But love this recap. Thank you!

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