Sharing the magic.
I had a really enjoyable evening yesterday talking to the Cheltenham Writer’s Circle about e-publishing and Print on Demand opportunities for writers. We talked about how to use Amazon and how to market your books, but the one piece of 'magic' information that I really enjoyed sharing was about making your book as good as you can get it before even thinking about publishing.
One very simple thing that writer’s seem to think is some sort of wisdom of the ancients is the ‘Classic 8 Point Arc’. Humans are coded to look for patterns in everything from clouds to collections of words. When we find a recognisable pattern we feel satisfied, and that’s surely how you want your readers to feel. This arc is a pattern that most fiction follows, so I thought I’d share it here also.
On last note - Stasis used to be a long section of introduction, but most books now jump straight in to the trigger moment, but the rest of the pattern still holds.
A classic ‘8 POINT ARC’ Storyline
STASIS – Little Red Riding Hood is sitting at home feeling bored.
TRIGGER – Her granny is ill so she decides to take her some food.
QUEST – She travels through the woods.
(& gets up to all sorts on the way – sub plot).
SURPRISE – She meets the Big Bad Wolf
CRITICAL CHOICES & DECISIONS – She decides to tell him about her granny, and he decides not to eat her yet.
CLIMAX – When she arrives at her Granny’s house the wolf is there waiting to eat her!
REVERSAL – She knows something is not right and questions him, before running away when she realises the danger she is in.
RESOLUTION – The woodman comes to the rescue and kills the wolf.
And they all live happily ever after!