Tag Archives | Structure

Midpoints: A Breakdown

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about Inciting Incidents that seemed to be helpful for a lot of our readers at PubCrawl, and I’ve had a few requests to continue dissecting story beats. So I’ve decided to tackle the next one on my list: The Midpoint. I know a lot of writers struggle with middles, but I’m actually not one of them. For me, the middle of the novel is simply an extension of […]

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Inciting Incidents: A Breakdown

A few months ago, Kate Sullivan, a senior editor of YA and MG at Delacorte, tweeted the following question: Is there are “rule” for when people think the inciting incident or catalyst needs to happen in a novel, pg-count-wise? — Kate Sullivan (@katert0t) September 2, 2015 The whole thread is worth a read, and it definitely got me thinking about Inciting Incidents, and beginnings in general. When talking about plot and structure, a lot of […]

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Outlining on Excel…(yes, that’s right, Excel)

Recently, I found myself doing something I never thought I’d ever do in a million years–outlining a book in Excel. You read that right–Excel. (Well, actually, I used Numbers and not Excel because I have iWork, but details, details… :P). This isn’t something I’d recommend for every book, but I’m currently revising a pretty hefty, unwieldy plot with multi-POV. It’s not A Song of Ice and Fire level or anything, but it’s complicated enough for a normal […]

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That weird story-planning stage

Right now, I’m in the planning stages for a new series. I’ve barely started writing—just enough to get a good feel for the voice—and I’m making lists and lists of things I know I want to include. It’s a weird part of the process. There’s not a lot to say, “Okay, I did this today.” Ideas come randomly, and there’s not much to show for it besides a lot of daydreaming. Here’s how I’m trying to […]

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Want to Write Better Stories? Write About Change

If there’s one thing that’s constant in all stories, it’s change. No matter what genre, a character experiences a series of events and things are different by the end of the tale. The more character-focused the novel, the greater and more personal this change is likely to be, but it appears in even the most plot-centric books as well. A mystery starts off with a victim and ends up with a killer caught and justice […]

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