I am a member of RWA's romantic suspense chapter, Kiss of Death. Members there have a number of forums to post on, including one called Invisible Words that focuses on the pre-work involved in writing a book. We discuss creativity, plotting, characterization, and more.
Here's my IW post for this week...
When a book has issues, sometimes it's helpful to come at it from a new perspective. If you are dealing with the dreaded saggy middle, taking a look at the story's key points (or beats) can help to identify where things are dragging. Today I'm sharing a great article that outlines the 15 point screenwriting structure found in Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need.
The book implies that one should begin with an outline and build the story around that, but I know that will give my pantser friends a bad case of hives. So don't think of it like that. If you are a plotter looking for a new approach to the outlining process, try this. If you are a panster stuck in a round of revisions going no where, try applying this structure over the current WIP and see where you find a gaping hole or a section that maybe goes on (and on and on) too long.
The author of the article, Tumblr user thatkatiecooney, lays out the 15 point structure and then uses the Disney animated short Paperman to illustrate how the plot points are used to create a story.
The 15 PLOT POINTS of Story Structure
What I particularly like about this article is that the example is a romance, but the plot point structure could easily be applied to a mystery/suspense story as well. That's the unique challenge that KOD members have set for themselves, to somehow braid together a thrilling story line with the emotional journey of people falling in love.
What do you guys think of this approach? Do you have a tried and true method that helps you manage your story structure? Please share it!