Monday, April 11, 2011

My Experience in Attending a Great Workshop, continued

On Wednesday morning, we each outlined a story that we would later write. Then, as a class, we each introduced our story, reading the outline to the rest of the class, after which each member offered suggestions and ideas that would help our our story move. It was a fun experience.

After lunch, we were introduced to what is called a Plot Chart with lines that form a triangular shape. This chart would chart each character's role,the protagonist, the antagonist, the sidekick, the guardian,etc., each playing his or her part along the chart line. We have to get to know each character and what they think and how they react. We have to know what goes on inside of him or her, establishing. This way we can establish a pattern.

We discussed the threats and crisis, and how they should be introduced to the hero, along with the try/fail, try again cycles. We discussed the conflicts that have to broaden and deepen in order to keep the reader interested. In the end, it is vital that we create a monumental climax, then carefully bring the story to an end.

Wednesday's class was another great learning experience and I felt as if I had taken a giant step forward.

I know that each author has his or her own ideas of what works for them. I, for one, have never really outlined a story. I begin with an idea and let the characters do most of the work. I thought outlining was a waste of time when I might only use it for the first few chapters. But, after walking through an outline, I decided that both ways work, depending on what the manuscript demands. We may start with an outline and decide as we go along that the outline is not following the story. Or we may begin without an outline and find that we need that support to make the story stronger.

There are so many opportunities to learn more about what it is that transforms a manuscript into a book . . . maybe even a best seller.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and check out my blog. Have a good day.


Steve Westover said...

Sounds like a great workshop.