Wednesday, March 14, 2012

STRUCTURE Is For the (Thunder)Birds

Writing is so much fun! It's also a process. Dan Wells, author of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER... kidding. He's the author of the I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER series, and his latest, PARTIALS, taught an amazing class on story structure.

When writing, painting, or even packing boxes to move from one house to another, structure helps you know how to start, the path to follow, and where to end.


Here's the basics to the seven point system:

Hook
Plot Turn 1 - Call to adventure
Pinch 1 - Apply Pressure
Midpoint
Pinch 2 - Apply even more Pressure
Plot Turn 2 - Resolve to do something - The power is in you (your MC)
Resolution

Here's the system put into action with HARRY POTTER. 

Hook - sad little Harry under the stairs

Plot Turn 1 - finds out he's a wizard

Pinch - the scary Troll he and his friends battle

Midpoint - Harry sees the scary guy (I think it's voldemort) sucking on the Unicorn blood and he resolves to do something to get the bad guy

Pinch 2 - they go down the hole and his friends all get taken out by the traps (big chess for Hermoine and Ron- remember)

Plot Turn 2 - Harry is alone and he has the stone in his pocket. He realizes that the power is in him because he's pure and his mother's love is what saved him and allowed him to live so he knows that's how he'll destroy (for a bit) Voldemort.

Resolution - Harry succeeds.

So freakin cool!!! If you're interested in watching the series for yourself, here's the YOUTUBE link for the first one.

How do you write? Structure aka Plotter or Panster?

24 comments:

  1. I love this system! I'll have to try it on the next book I write and use it when I edit the one I'm writing now. I was a pantser on a few books, but with the sequel, I really feel like I've got to plan to make sure it all makes sense. Also, because my writing time is so limited these days, I find that having a plan makes the time I do have much more productive and helps me pick up where I left off a little better.

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    1. Karly - it's true. Having a small plan does really help.

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  2. I'm a total pantser and it's not something I'm proud of. I loved PARTIALS and think Dan Wells is an AMAZING writer, so I will definitely be checking this out! Thanks so much for the heads-up, RaShelle!! :-)

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    1. Shannon - you're welcome. I'm a planster myself - a planner to pants her way from chapter to chapter.

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  3. This is about as much structure as I can handle. I like to know the high points I'm going to hit, but it's really hard for me to get into more detail than that. The story tends to take on a life of its own for me as I'm writing. That being said, I think the use of a 7-point system will serve most stories very well.

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  4. Hey, that sounds very tidy and workable. I'll have to run my WIP through that sieve. :) I'm pretty much a plotter, but I like to wing the in between details.

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    1. Carol - I'm with you on that. I've coined the word, planster - that's what we are. LOL

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  5. Oh this is way easier than outlining! I think I'm going to have to try it out.

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  6. Love it! I'm a pantser, but I do feel like I pants within a structure. I'll definitely try this method out on my next book.

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    1. Stacey - Give it a whirl, see if you like it.

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  7. I have been wanting to read Partials! It looks so good! The structure idea is pretty simple, but I like it. I am sort of both plotter and pantser. I start out with a basic plot, but feel free to let it morph and change as I go. I think understanding the way climaxes and mini-climaxes (pinches or whatever you want to call them, lol) is important to keeping your pacing up and not letting a book get boring. Great post, thanks RaShelle!

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  8. I love plotting and structure. I'm a huge Blake Snyder fan!

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  9. I'm for sure going to check out that you tube--thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Elle - the you tube vids are great. Dan is funny. =D

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  10. OMG! You just spoiled Harry Potter for me. I haven't read it yet.

    LOL, totally kidding. ;)

    This is awesome. I'm going to use it on Afterlife. :D

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    1. Megg - *giggles* *snickers* *giggles some more* You are so funny. Glad I really didn't spoil HP for you. That would've been terrible.

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  11. I'm definitely a plotter. I do let the characters dictate changes as I go, but mostly I stick pretty close to my outline. I'm sort of a control freak, so it works for me.

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    1. Lisa - Knowing where to do next in a story keeps me from writing randomly. I completely understand.

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  12. Just wanted to let you know there is an award for you on my blog! Have a nice day!!

    http://meghankirkland.blogspot.com/2012/03/sunshine-award.html

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  13. I'm a bat-crazy, writes too much, has to edit most of it out later type (aka pantser) who wishes she was more of a plotter. Hmmmmm...maybe I can handle 7 points. I'll check out the YouTube video. Thanks!

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