Harry Potter and The Hunger Games each introduce 19 characters in their first chapter, and Twilight introduces a whopping We learn basic facts like his age and name, but we also see on a deeper level that the hero does not fit in to his dreary homeland. For now, we see the possibility that the hero will finally receive some parenting of sorts.
What We Can Learn from J. If you are struggling with the first draft of your novel, I recommend you follow in the footsteps of J.
Rowling and begin with series. In his book Blueprint Your BestsellerStuart explains why he dislikes the word plot: For one thing, it is a term with nearly unlimited associations. For another thing, plot is singular, as if it somehow references everything. Series, on the other hand, is much more manageable.
She used series to develop and organize Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. How did she keep it from crumbling into chaos? The answer is found in a one-page outline she released to the public nearly ten years ago.
In the outline, Rowling identifies her different series in Order of the Phoenix and then organizes them all into a series grid. I discuss these two concepts in-depth in a chapter I co-authored with Stuart for his second writing book, Book Architecture: Then Rowling writes the passage of time down the side of the outline October, November, etc.
Next, Rowling fills in the grid with the when and where each series comes into play. This grid not only allows Rowling to organize her story but also helps her track any particular issues within the narrative, such as a series dropping off the radar for too long or a series standing off by itself or a series repeating too much instead of developing.
Joseph Heller, for one, took the concept to another level entirely in his outline for Catch Draft Your Own Series Outline To reshape your first draft into a publishable story, first identify your different series.
As Stuart explains in Book Architecturethe repetitions and variations of series are how a person becomes a character, how a place becomes a setting, how a thing or object becomes a symbol, how a relationship becomes a dynamic, and how a repeated phrase becomes a key to the philosophy of the work.
Next, create a series grid. Start by listing your series at the top, and the time frames along the side; then fill in the middle based on when and where each series comes into play.Aspiring novelists don't need an MFA in creative writing, a book agent, an airtight plot, or a winsome cast of characters to get a novel writtenthey don't even need to know what they're doing.
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Meet fellow writers online and in person. Aspiring novelists don't need an MFA in creative writing, a book agent, an airtight plot, or a winsome cast of characters to get a novel writtenthey don't even need to know what they're doing.
Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story.
By defining those before you begin you clarify the scope of your work, identify your themes, and create the story you meant to write.
The traditional approach to writing an outline is not as rigid as some other models. To begin, divide your plan for your novel into sections. The chapter is a convenient unit. [You can also brainstorm details for your story, section by section, in the Now Novel dashboard].
One strength of the. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.