Category: Plot

  • Plotting: The Messy Doorway to Story

    Plotting: The Messy Doorway to Story

    I’m plotting a new trilogy of novels, and as usual, it’s hard. I keep thinking that someday I’ll figure out THE way to plot “correctly.” So far, that hasn’t happened. Every time I start again, the process is unclear, messy, frustrating, and likely to fail at any moment. Yet, somehow, I muddle through to a […]

  • Subplots: Keeping Other Story Lines in Check

    Subplots: Keeping Other Story Lines in Check

    I’m working on a science fiction novel right now, the second book of a trilogy, the Blue Planet Series. Book 1 is done, and Book 2 has a full draft that I’m revising. Book 3 is in outline form. The premise of the series is this: “Earth finally hears from space. “You only live on […]

  • Does Your Scene Pivot: Creating Turning Points

    I’m revising my WIP novel one scene at a time and finding places where I need to do lots of work. Specifically, I want scenes that pivot. A scene is self-contained section of the story. Characters come into a scene with a goal and they either reach their goal or not. The scene should have […]

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Worldbuilding: Timeline Adds Crucial Details

    One of the first tasks in revising my current WIP has been to nail down a firm time line for my story. When does all this stuff happen? I had it vaguely placed in the 21st century, but I didn’t want to nail it down specifically. It’s the EveryMan problem. Some writers try to create […]

  • Pacing: Space out the Tense Moments

    Tension on every page is the mantra for fiction writers. But what if your tension is spread unevenly throughout the story? That may be fine, because stories need a natural rhythm, an ebb and flow of action, thoughts, dialogue and reflection (inner dialogue). Some scenes may be crammed with small actions, while others pace steadily […]

  • Scenes: The Skeleton of a Novel

    You’re a human being: you can stand up, sit down, or do a somersault. That’s because you have a skeleton that gives your soft tissue a structure. Likewise, it’s important to give your novel a structure that will hold all the soft murmurings about characters, places and events. It begins with understanding the structure of […]