Monday, June 15, 2009

Novel Writing

I've been reading up on novel writing, in preparation for leading a workshop for my critique group. We all seem to struggle with how to structure such and long, unwieldy beast.
One helpful hint that I've found is to launch the book with an "inciting incident," one that threatens the MC's basic sense of self. Then craft "set pieces," or scenes with high emotional impact, turning points along your character's path to the "inner cave," crisis point, and resolution. Jot these all scenes down on index cards that you can shuffle, remove, or add to until your plot line makes sense.


Janet O'Connor said...
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Janet O'Connor said...

Thank you, Linda. Let me try again. Your advice is exactly what my gut has told me to do when writing a longer piece. However, my biggest problem is finding a satisfying resolution for the event and subsequent "set pieces."

Linda Crotta Brennan said...

Finding a satisfying resolution--not easy.
Elizabeth Lyons has some wise things to say about this.
She talks how the character's weakness prevents him/her from reaching his/her goal. Until, in the belly of the whale s/he realizes something--recognizes the inner strength and the weakness that has held him/her back. Then the character is able to emerge transformed and ready to face the crisis and resolution.