Monday, January 24, 2011

Plot and Structure

Write Great Fiction: Plot & StructureWrite Great Fiction: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I have quite a few 'how to write' books.

Some are awesome to read just because they are inspiring. For instance, "On Becoming a Novelist" by John Gardner, made me feel like it was a holy journey to pick up pen (or place fingers on keyboard) and compose a story.

Some are absolute garbage that tell you nothing you don't know and without any kind of details, so you're left feeling like you just read a synopsis of a synopsis. Or like an Apple software user manual that is nothing but press for the author's other products.

I found this one while going down in the quicksand of a novel in which I knew the characters, knew their motivations, knew the beginning middle and end and yet could NOT find the story in the mass of words on the page.

He spells it out. Yes, it's what you already know. You know good story. You know the so-called "Hero's Journey" But it helps very much to have it pointed out clearly. At least it helped me.

I do love Dean Koontz, and so the frequent quotes from his and Stephen King's books did not bother me. If you are an anti-Koontz reader (I know of a few) then you might not be as tickled.

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