Thursday, February 24, 2011

Q&A with The Lit Coach: Plot Structure

So here we are, the last installment of Q&A with The Lit Coach for the week. Monday I addressed a reader's question about author websites; Wednesday I answered a question about knowing when to stop reading books about writing and start writing to find voice.

Here's today's question:

"Do you believe in a three act, 4 plot point structure?"

Yes, I do, Laura. I think especially for beginning authors a three act structure - beginning, middle and end/starting point, rise in action, resolution - offers a stable base structure for storytelling. Some will tell you three is an arbitrary number and screenwriters commonly favor five or seven act structure (which works well within their medium).

Plot points are occurrences within the rise in action where the character is faced with a decision or turning point...usually these show up as character crises. I don't feel four is a hard and fast rule, though; if three plot points creates enough drama and tension in your novel, then go with it!

For a valuable, in-depth fiction crafting resource, check out author, and creative writing instructor at Boston University and Grub Street, Michelle Hoover's recent blog posting on the topic - there are several and I provided the link to the first in the series.

Good luck, Laura, and thanks for your question!

Have an inspired weekend, writers! Stay warm...winter has decided to dig in and stay awhile.

Stay tuned this weekend for a special look into blogs that work...


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