how to plot a book

The five whys. Why.

The Secret of the Five Whys

The secret of the five whys is known to a few writers, but it’s such an awesome way to know your characters and thus make plotting easier, that we had to share. Feel free to pass it on.

The five whys

A long time ago, when I started writing, a friend (hey, Lisa!) would grill me on my character’s motivation. One answer was never enough for her, she had to ask and ask and ask until the character was stripped bare. Only then would she relent and let me continue telling the rest of the story.

I named her method “The Five Whys” because that was the average number of times she asked me “Why?” about the character.

Let me give you an example.

Continue reading The Five Whys #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

build a character arc

How to Build a Character Arc

Impersonator. #AtoZChallenge. www.cherylsterlingbooks.com Character arc

A WRITER CAN POUR plot twists, solid conflict, steamy sex, non-stop action, and a fluffy kitty or two into a story and still miss the heart of the reader if the main characters in the story fail to demonstrate some sort of character arc. Readers relate to characters through their goals, motivations, and conflict, but also through their flaws, disappointments, and their triumphs. Characters that fight a flaw or inner demon and conquer it (or in a tragedy, fail to conquer it) will touch the reader on a deeper level.

Continue reading How to Build a Character Arc

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

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

Today’s #ThrowbackThursday revisits 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 #ThrowbackThursday

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more