It feels like it took forever to make it through Chapter 3 of the You Can Write A Novel Kit , but I made writing progress in other areas. I’ve completed two short stories, one is scheduled for release in the October Nightmares and Dreams anthology written by members of the Midwest Children’s Authors Guild and the other has been submitted to Pill Hill Press for consideration.
In Chapter 3: Build A Framework for Your Novel’s Pieces, I created an outline from start to finished. Smith offers step by step guidance to help writers draft strong beginnings, middles and ends. I like how he explains what each section needs and then gives two to three examples to demonstrate it. Using his method, I have identified scenes that directly impact the climax as well as major scenes that move the story line, complicate the problem, develop characters and/or set up other scenes.
This process worked so well that I was tempted to stray from the book and jump straight to writing. I’m glad I didn’t and it appears I’m not the only one who gets bitten by the writing bug at this phase. Smith warns writers not to write major scenes at this point, because they may fizzle later. So, I was thrilled when I saw the title for the next chapter.
Chapter 4: Writer Your Novel: Putting Together The Pieces. I’m so ready for this chapter and as always will post my progress.
I must admit, in Chapter 3: Build A Framework for Your Novel’s Pieces, when Smith recommended writing the climax first, I felt skeptical. I’ve always been a “write in the order the voices tell you ” kind of writer. Writing the climax first sounded daunting. How on earth was I going to come up with a climax when I haven’t written a single page of manuscript? But like always, Smith provided guidance, including Ten Elements for A Climatic Scene.
A scene came to mind and I filled out the Scene Development sheet that comes with the You Can Write A Novel Kit. I checked my scene against the Ten Elements and found #7 (No new material introduced into the climax) and #8 (Lack of Explanation [exposition]) particularly hard for BLINK. There are things that will happen that Lexi (Master Character) won’t understand, that will be contrary to every thing she believed. Smith recommends foreshadowing to avoid introducing new material during the climax and action/dialogue to avoid slowing the pace of the climax with exposition.
In Step 4 of Chapter 3, I created the opening scene. Again, Smith has a list of things an opening should include. I tore off another Scene Development and completed it as much as I could and much to my surprise, the opening scene and climax have a direct impact on each other just as they should (and despite creating them in opposite order). In the opening scene, Lexi makes a major mistake and in the climax, she has an opportunity to rectify it, but it will costs her. I’m now on Step 6: Write Your Central Story in “Headlines”. This section will help me connect the dots from the opening scene to the climax.