|My Plot Board..Sorry For The Poor Quality Of This Pic 🙂|
I’ve been studying Story Structure for a while now.
I’m not a meticulous plotter…outlining scenes to the letter, but like I said…I needed a path. This WIP needed a path. Just a clear vision of where I was going.
- Movies, since way back when, in order to fit on film, were separated into 8 sequences, each being about 10-15 minutes long. Each sequence had a purpose. This sequencing system can also be used for novels. Read this article by Alexandra Sokoloff to see how and to also see a film broken down into these sequences (It’s great!!). Now…each sequence contains a number of scenes (you, the writer, decide how many). That’s what all those pink & green Post-It notes are on my board 🙂 The Three Act Structure fits in nicely with these 8 sequences because Act I culminates at the end of Sequence 2, the Midpoint occurs at the end of Sequence 4, Act II culminates at the end of Sequence 6, and Act III of course finishes Sequence 8. (You can however have a little more than 8 sequences…remember those two and a half hour movies??)
It’s a great resource for all writers, especially those just getting started.
What I love about my board is that:
- I can see if I have too many scenes leading up to a specific Plot Point/Moment. When I looked at my rough draft, I realized that it took way to long to get to the Inciting Incident. I would have lost interest in a book that took that long. I was able to look at the board and see which scenes didn’t fit and could be cut. And my Midpoint? It sucked. And it did not hint to the ending in any way.
- I can move scenes around, delete scenes and add new ones. I feel like I’m really crafting my story when I do this because each scene now has a specific purpose.
- I can add things like notes about character arcs or just simple things I want to remember to include. It’s easier to jot the thought on a sticky note and slap it on the board than it is to grab the lap top, find the right scene among all the documents I’ve saved, and type it in. When I revise that scene, I can make the changes then. At least I feel more efficient 😉
- It’s just nice having it all laid out in front of me in an organized fashion.
|Author Diane Chamberlain’s Plot Board Using the 8 sequence structure.|