Three Dirty Birds on Plot and Structure

threedirtybirds-400|Master List|

Three Dirty Birds are Plotting and Structuring their stories today, as we tackle James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-Editing for Publication.

Kate: This was a bit repetitive. I think every book or chapter on plot references Joseph Campbell. Having read Joseph Campbell, it’s not a bad structure ( and his book is pretty interesting, if I remember correctly, and if you have a thing for Roman and Greek mythology). Not so sure how well it applies to the romance genre, unless you’re writing romantic fantasy, or scifi, or maybe a thriller?

Zoe: I did skim the second half of the chapter, where he delved into the Hero’s Journey and other more structured stuff. But I found the first half of the chapter valuable, with his LOCK system, which is you need a Lead (protagonist) in whom the reader has an emotional rooting interest in and who has an inner conflict, and the lead needs an Objective/want that is so crucial to him/her that he must have it or suffer deep loss, and there must be opposition (“Confrontation”) to the lead’s objective, and a Knock-out ending.

Ana: Thanks for summarizing that, I kept getting confused by the letters he kept throwing in in between. (But then, I wasn’t at my most attentive while reading this. It’s not the book, it’s just me. I swear)

(Zoe: Yeah, reading that section, it was more of a LisliOCaK system. Which, it turns out, is fun to say out loud.)

Ana: I liked reading his other book. The ‘write your novel from the middle’ thing. I think that’s about all the plotting advice I can read without zoning out.

Zoe: I very much enjoyed that book. It was short, to the point, and jammed with useful info.

Kate: I’ve got his Plot and Structure book, but I haven’t gotten into it yet. I liked the section in this book about the patterns you can look for in plots. All those different categories. Which is probably just a sign that I need to pay more attention to keeping things organized and pointed in the right direction when I write. But if you have a certain kind of conflict, you need to keep things related to that conflict. (Which I don’t do very well at, at least until draft umpteen million.)

Zoe: That’s what drafts are for! I have to confess that I skimmed the plot patterns section too. “Not my story, not my story, not my…oh look, we’re up to the exercises again already.”

Ana: I thought those plot patterns only get interesting if you mix them up with each other. Like most my romance stories have a good chunk of what he calls the ‘change’ pattern.

Zoe: You did just make them more interesting for me. Thanks!

Kate: I just like to sort things. I’m a sorting kinda gal. “Oh, that’s what it really is!”

Zoe: As for the exercises, I may do number two sometime soon. I’ve always meant to see Sunset Boulevard. Now I have an excuse. (I’m also now eating chocolate. If anyone cares.)

Kate: Did you bring enough for everyone? I’m going to need it while I do exercise #1. (Because I really need to work on the TBR pile.)

Ana: Bad Kate. You’re supposed to reread a favorite, not take something from your TBR!

Zoe: I brought half a bag of Cadbury Christmas mini eggs.

Kate: Woohoo! Cadbury!  Ana, I have to get the TBR mountain down, or I’ll someday be a squashed bird under its weight. (I’m sure that’s a French haute cuisine dish.)

Zoe: lol!

Ana: And right now we’re three writers who can’t come up with a good ending line to this chapter… er… blog post.

Kate: Niiiice, Ana. Just tell on us, why don’t you?

Ana: I’m using self-deprecating humor to make my character more sympathetic.

Zoe: We’re under pressure from this chapter to provide a Knock-Out ending. I can’t work under pressure. Here, have more chocolate before I eat it all.

Kate: I’m done. I have chocolate.

Ana: You’re done? I don’t even get started before chocolate. I fear this is going to be an unsatisfying ending. A cliffhanger, maybe?

Kate: Maybe we’re in the wrong POV…

Ana: That’s foreshadowing! Okay, I can live with that.

One thought on “Three Dirty Birds on Plot and Structure

  1. If your site is relatively sound, the most important results for you to
    consider are the keyword hits. The Internet has changed the way
    we attain information forever and Google has been the main driving force and proponent behind
    this instant access to information. Forgetting to write for an audience is one of the biggest mistakes that bloggers make.
    Tests with a model like Page – Rank have shown that the system is not infallible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *