25 February 2014

Plot Tip How to Decide Which Scenes to Keep and Which Ones to Toss

The experience of teaching online Plot Workshops to small groups of writers using innovative technology that allows ten of us to see and interact live together is without a doubt the best teaching experiences I've ever had. The workshops revolve around weekly homework assignments from Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories.

A homework question came up about plotting scenes above and below the Plot Planner line.

1) The Plot Planner line shows the steady increase in tension as the story rises to the Crisis and and then again to the Climax . The Plot Planner is also a line that divides scenes with lots of conflict, tension, suspense from those scenes that are quieter and where the protagonist is in control.

Often in a rewrite after a major revision, scenes below the line switch from scenes to summary in order to move the character quickly from one dramatic action scene to the next. (For instance, if you find that a scene you wrote to move characters from one location to another does not have much external dramatic action, consider turning the scene into summary. Allows for a faster pace in the first quarter of the story, moving the reader smoothly to the middle.)

2) Also, seeing scenes lined up above the line on the Plot Planner often frees up ideas how to incorporate two pretty good scenes to make one terrific scene.
A PATH to PUBLISHING using the Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
Choose the NOVEL TRACK or the PICTURE BOOK TRACK for 4, 10 and 16-week workshops to ensure you understand concept, plotting, character development, scene development, action and emotional arc development, as well has how to pitch your work to agents, editors, and readers. Live online video chat technology. I recommend writers of all genres and all ages take at least one picture book plot workshop. Narrows all plot concepts down to 28 pages and 500 words for clarity.

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For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.