Go with the flow…in an arc…
Outline prep starts with the arc
Now that you know the details about your genre, it’s time to start the real work on your outline. As you begin to flesh out your book, you are going to start by finding your critical scenes and plugging them into a story arc.
If you need a detailed review for a story arc, check here:
Helpful site #1
Helpful site #2
The short version:
- Think of things coming together in thirds.
- Force your main character into making life-altering decisions at each third.
- Make the decisions carry high stakes.
- Make things look bleakest near the end.
- Tie up loose ends.
Midpoint Mirror Moment:
I recently read a book called Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell. (Not an affiliate link) Short book – 92 pages. Quick read. Interesting theory/advice. Bell suggests that you start with the middle of your story. He claims that the best books have a moment where the protagonist looks himself over – often literally in a mirror – and reevaluates his life/motives/etc. As in: “Can I do this? Can I make this change?” Well, we’ve already discussed how characters need to change, so this might work. If you know the change your protag needs, then you would know where they started. I included a place for that in this template.
Me? I read Bell’s book AFTER my first novel went to print. As it turns out, I had Ike assess his reflection near the midpoint of the book. Go figure.
You? You should be getting very excited now. Look at the body of work you’ve done to prepare for this writing journey! It’s coming together. You can do this!
My FREE novel planning templates are available beginning June 14, 2021 from my Novel Planning page here, along with links to the brief blog posts that explain them. You will also find links to posts describing my additional planning templates that are available here in my Shop.
Are you excited to start writing? Have you started your draft already? Let me know!
I love Handel’s Messiah! I can’t explain it.
Today’s verse is from Isaiah 9:6 with the list of names the Christ Child would be known by.
- Mighty God
- Everlasting Father
- Prince of Peace
And I hear a massive choir singing in the background…