Manual Elements of Plot: A Personalized Approach (Writing Your Novel YOUR Way Book 1)

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My hand itched for a red pen. Furthermore, the book is bloated with constant repetition and so many "examples" that I just started skipping most, because while one example is fine, a half-dozen for the same minor point is not. Scenes from movies--where he's reeeeeeeally stretching to twist something otherwise unrelated to fit his point--and "example" paragraphs lifted verbatim from other novels.

Write Your Novel From the Middle shows no effort at all on the writer's part, so he's lucky he has a decent idea because otherwise I'd be handing out 1-star. As it is I've already tossed it in the bin destined to be sold to Half-Price Books.

If you're really interested, I suggest just reading through the reviews here, as they'll explain everything you need to know about the concept. Skip the book itself. Sep 06, Paul rated it liked it. At the center of this book, literally and figuratively, is a compelling idea: a rethinking of the midpoint of a book or film.

In many writing guides, the midpoint is where "something happens. Still, something happens at the midpoint. Bell says he's analyzed books and films and has realized that the midpoint is this: a "mirror moment" not even a whole scene but a moment in a scene in which the At the center of this book, literally and figuratively, is a compelling idea: a rethinking of the midpoint of a book or film. Bell says he's analyzed books and films and has realized that the midpoint is this: a "mirror moment" not even a whole scene but a moment in a scene in which the protagonist has to look at herself and decide what kind of person she is in character-driven stories , or to consider the odds against her.

But more than this, Bell says this is what the story is actually about, its true center. Thus, writing from the middle means that you might wish to first identify this moment, and then you'll know how to get your character there, and will understand your character better, and in case you missed this what the story is actually about. I'm simplifying, but then again, it's a simple--if compelling--concept.

As a writer, I think I will find this useful, perhaps even four-stars useful. The book gets three stars, however, because it has the feel of an article stretched to book length and only barely; it's 92 pages. It's a perfect ebook; three bucks worth of learning. I think I'd feel cheated, however, if I paid ten bucks for the paperback. Apr 09, Roni Loren rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , on-writing.

I pretty much love anything James Scott Bell has to say about writing.

3. The Snowflake Method

For some reason, his advice resonates with me more than other writing craft teachers. Perhaps it's because he breaks things down into very understandable components and gives practical questions to use to tease out the information you need in your story.

This was a small book that focused on one main concept though there were tips at the end that were more broad , but that concept was something fresh for me to think about. I I pretty much love anything James Scott Bell has to say about writing. I'm a "tweener" or "plantser" style writer. So I do some loose upfront planning before I jump in mainly character work and finding the hook and then "pants" the rest of the book.

How To Plot Your Novel - Part 3: Act One

However, this concept of looking for that moment in the middle doesn't freak out my non-outlining brain. I will definitely try this when I approach my next book. Dec 24, Anna Erishkigal rated it it was amazing Shelves: writing , writing-mechanics. Middles are the bane of a writer's existence. At first the new blush and excitement of a story carries you along, but eventually you hit this point where you look at your plot outline and realize that everything you wrote is utter crap.

Sure, maybe you've got some big reveal at the end maybe even wrote it , but you read the middle and it's boring boring boring and, no matter how much you stare at it, it's always hard to figure out exactly what went wrong. Writing from the Middle help Middles are the bane of a writer's existence. Writing from the Middle helps you examine the 'turning point' that will get you from that first blush of a new story to your epic ending and re-invigorate that sorry, sagging middle of your bridge.

Mar 23, Suzanne rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , writing-resources.

The Snowflake Method For Designing A Novel

For me, this offering from James Scott Bell ranks up there with 2k to 10k on my list of short writing books that give you the most bang for your buck. It's very short, but the idea here is fresh.


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I think it will indeed work for both outliners and discovery writers, which is unusual for a plotting strategy. Highly recommended! May 29, Ian rated it it was amazing. I've found this book to be invaluable in working through my current manuscript. Bell outlines the significance of identifying the magical midpoint moment or "Mirror Moment" when structuring one's story. In providing practical examples from both famous novels and movies Bell effectively demonstrates the power this gives the author in both setting up the story and taking it through to its end.

In addition, this short book provides a quick overview of story structure, the impact of genre I've found this book to be invaluable in working through my current manuscript. In addition, this short book provides a quick overview of story structure, the impact of genre and some extra bonuses at the end.

Highly recommended for all story tellers. Jun 21, Gillian Kevern rated it it was amazing Shelves: writing-advice , structure.

Book Report vs. Book Review

A quick read, containing some very good advice in easy to understand and easy to apply format. My style is to write without planning and plot as I go along, and I found his ideas very easy to apply to my writing. He contains suggestions on how to apply his advice to writers who outline everything, writers who don't outline at all and writers who are somewhere between those extremes, so I think I can safely recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve their writing!

Nov 11, D. Adamson rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed-on-le-coeur-de-l-artiste , books-on-writing. Think about it. Every story has to begin, and every story has to end.

12 Creative Writing Templates | Evernote | Evernote Blog

Bell gives writers a different way to think structurally: offering that a story has two pillars holding it up, and a magical moment in the middle, Bell instructs how to see a story from some of its key points. Another excellent book to keep on the shelf. Jan 12, Shannon Reagan rated it it was amazing. This quick read help me clarify the arch of my existing book and expand my understanding for future books. View 1 comment. Apr 17, Robin Hatcher rated it it was amazing Shelves: challenge , audiobooks-i-own. James Scott Bell writes my favorite books on the craft of writing. May 13, Suz Jay rated it really liked it Shelves: on-writing.

There are three kinds of death and one or more will confront the character, in bold relief, right smack dab in the middle of your novel. In this book he concentrates on three: the mirror moment and the two doorways of no return. He explains the criticality of these signposts and how they can strengthen the novel. He briefly mentions the others, but they are not the focus here. Still, I agree that understanding these key points is an important part of using his plotting system well. The two books work in tandem, but note, many of the same examples are used. Jan 27, Audra rated it it was amazing Shelves: the-craft-of-writing.

I really love James Scott Bell's books about writing.