• Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

    Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

THE THREE ACT STRUCTURE is one of the most popular ways to plot a novel or screenplay. It’s the backbone of countless novels, TV shows and movies.www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

For today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “T” is for the Three Act Structure.

(Today’s post on the Three Act Structure is an excerpt from The Plot Thickens:21 Ways to Plot Your Novel.)

THE THREE ACT STRUCTURE is one of the most popular ways to plot a novel or screenplay. It’s the backbone of countless novels, TV shows and movies.www.cherylsterlingbooks.comTHE THREE ACT STRUCTURE is one of the most popular ways to plot a novel or screenplay. It’s the backbone of countless novels, TV shows and movies. It keeps the story moving, the reader turning pages and box offices busy. In its simplest form it consists of three parts:

  1. Beginning
  2. Middle
  3. End

Of course, much more is involved. Your daily trip to work has a beginning, middle and end. Hopefully, it’s uneventful, but boring isn’t what you want for your novel. Let’s re-label the three parts into:

  1. Setup
  2. Conflict
  3. Climax

Much more riveting, isn’t it?

Let’s look at each of these in depth.
Continue reading Three Act Structure, Today’s “T” for the AtoZChallenge

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NOT ALL STORIES REQUIRE the addition of one or more subplots. Some main plots are so rich that to add more would detract your reader.

Use subplots to deepen your story

NOT ALL STORIES REQUIRE the addition of one or more subplots. Adding more to a rich, layered, and textured main plot could detract your reader.

NOT ALL STORIES REQUIRE the addition of one or more subplots. Some main plots are so rich that to add more would detract your reader.On the other hand, subplots can:

  • Deepen characterization by revealing flaws, strengths and growth.
  • Deepen theme.
  • Add complexity and momentum by diverting the reader’s attention from the main story, forcing tension until they can return to the main plot.
  • Introduce back-story, which in turn layers inner conflict, motive and invokes sympathy with the reader.
  • Introduce new characters.
  • Develop relationships.
  • Break up long scenes.
  • Control story tension.
  • Deepen conflict, making it more credible and complex.
  • Subplots can involve the main or secondary characters or both.

Like the main plot, subplots must follow the same rules. They should have a beginning, middle and end. At the end of the story, tie them up in the reverse order in which they were introduced. If “A” is the main plot, “B” is secondary and “C” is tertiary, they should be introduced as A, B, C, and closed out as C, B, A.

The subplot should not overshadow the main plot. Whatever happens in the subplot, never lose sight of the main line of action.

The number of subplot scenes should not outnumber main plot scenes.

Do not introduce so many subplots the reader is distracted from the main story. One to three is the rule of thumb. It’s hard to make characters and their problems distinct after that.

Subplots come in two varieties:

  1. Parallel. The characters know each other through a common link—the workplace, a vacation resort, a wedding, but their stories are independent of each other. This can be difficult to pull off, but the characters can learn from each other and influence each other’s storylines.
  2. Interwoven. This is the most common type of subplot. Tie the subplot to the main plot and any other subplots and increase the complexity of the story. The subplots should affect the main plot. If the subplot can be omitted from the story without affecting the main plot, does it belong?

Subplots should cover three areas:

  1. There should be connections between the sub and main plots. Interweave the relationships. The outcome of one affects something else.
  2. They should add complications to the main plot. If the hero is fighting for a promotion, reveal his alcoholic background, have his sponsor fall off the wagon, or he should.
  3. It should contrast the main plot. Don’t repeat what’s established, but explore different tones, purposes and ranges. Portray a variety of experiences to add depth and complexity to the overall story.

Adroit handling of subplots will enrich your story.

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It's not hard to make a video. Little technical skill is required to make a video to impress family, friends, and readers.

How to make a video

It's not hard to make a video. Little technical skill is required to make a video to impress family, friends, and readers.

It’s not hard to make a video. Little technical skill is required to make a video to impress family, friends, and readers. I’ve found a program that (can be) free that is so simple you’ll think there’s a catch. You can make videos for weddings, baby showers, graduations, special occasions, and birthdays. Consider using your book cover and text to make a book trailer. Then post it on your blog, social media outlets, and YouTube.

Here is a video I made of my granddaughter’s recent birthday. The hardest part was picking the photos, cropping, and playing with the lighting, contrast, etc.

Olivia’s 4th Birthday

What you’ll need to make a video

A little bit of time (5-10 minutes or less.  Really).
5-8 photos
A sentiment you want shared (ie, what’cha gonna write?)
That’s it! Oh, and you’ll need to pick a theme from the dozens provided, that will take a little more time because you’ll want to experiment.

Where to go to make a video

www.animoto.com

You won’t even have to sign up for an account, you can sign in using your Facebook info.

It’s wicked easy!
1. Pick a theme
2. Add some photos or a video
3.  Add text
Boom! You’re done.

But is it really free?

Videos up to 30 seconds are free. Anything over that length, you’ll have to become a Prime member, which costs $96 a year.

Impress your friends and family now. They’ll think you’re a techno-marvel.

Post your new video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of other social media sites. Email it to a friend or embed it into your blog or YouTube channel.

Brag to everyone about how hard you worked to make something for their special day then smile in satisfaction because you accomplished a new skill.

Now, go forth and create a video.  Send me a link. I’d love to see what you made.

Blessings,

Cheryl

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