Last week I offered up some resources to help you with characterization. This week it’s time to look at resources for balancing the equation in your story: plot.
Every story has a flow. An arc. It rises and falls. You’re introduced to the characters and their conflict, the action rises to a crescendo than levels out to a satisfying ending. Simple. But when should the action rise? How long should you keep your audience in suspense? How close to the end do you bring it to the peek? And how in the world does my character’s arc dovetail with the plot?
That, my fellow writer, is what the following books can help you decipher.
Did you think only plays and movies had acts? Guess again. A great story will have 3 acts. Jeff does an excellent job explaining how to handle all three acts to build your story.
From answering “what is plot” to explaining common plot problems and cures, this book helps you build the right structure for your story. It explains how to make the beginning, middle and end strong. There are exercises at the end of each chapter.
Just as a story has a flow, so does each scene. Scene and Structure contains fourteen chapters filled with information to help you build scenes that will keep your audience reading. A couple of my favorites: Chapter 8 answers the question of how to pace your story through the use of scenes. Check out chapter 7 to learn how you go from scene to scene without a bumpy ride. And what about the stuff going on inside your characters? Bickham handles that, too.
Each of these books has its own unique flavor. I found all of them helpful. Do you have a favorite resource for plot?
Angela D. Meyer lives in NE with her husband and two children whom they homeschool - recently graduating their son. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and is on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.