07 January 2008

Subject: Help!!

I have purchased and read your book "Blockbuster plots pure and simple" and I still don't understand. I'm starting with a basic logline for a plot and don't know how you come up with scenes if you don't even know what the story is about. It would seem to me that in order to create scenes or follow the plot planner portion of the book you need to know more about how the story is going to unfold than you know when you just get the idea. It feels like there is a step missing between the initial idea and being able to come up with scenes.

What am I missing?? Please help!

Dear Muriel,
Often, with a firm understanding of the Universal Story form and the natural trajectory of a story, writers can better come up with scenes needed to create a story.

If character most intriques you, start with the character emotional development profile (info can be found in BBP, on the website, and in entries below).

If dramatic action ideas bubble forth, start with the action.

Study the three biggest scenes in a story: The End of the Beginning, The Crisis, and the Climax (in the second half of BBP -- Plot Planner portion of the book -- also, the blog has info on these three critical scenes below).

See if you can visualize any of those scenes in your story.

How do you get your character from the beginning to the End of the Beginning?
What events are you interested in exploring, writing?
Do you plan to use any true historical events?
How can those events work into creating one of the three major plot lines (examples are in the book and below)


Start with whatever you've got. Write that in scene. Then ask yourself: because that happens, what happens next.... Write that scene. Then ask yourself again -- if that happens, what happens next?

Hope this helps.

I'll put the word out for other writers to give their ideas as well.

Great good luck.