Books are created by two decisions: the story idea, and the choices of how to write the story.
The story idea is contained in the questions:
what do the characters want?
what are the obstacles?
how are they going to be overcome?
what is the tension in the story that keeps the reader turning pages to see how it turns out?
How you write the story is also a series of choices.
the structural choices are:
- where in the story calendar timeline to begin the story
- which characters to introduce to the reader and when
- what information to give to the reader and when
the presentation choices are:
- what to show to the reader in a scene
- what information to give to the reader within dialog and thoughts and memories of thecharacters, instead of doing a scene of the original event
- what to present to the reader as narration (tell the reader something)
MAXIMIZE SCENE VARIETY
There are roughly 90 major scenes in a 100,000 word book.
List your scenes: who is there, what is happening, where and when does it takes place.
Strong stories have very few repeats in scenes.
How many repeats do you have in your list?
office, his home, her home, church, diner, running, driving, talking on phone
Eliminate as many repeats as you can without changing your story line
If there are three scenes at his home, set one in the living room, one in the kitchen, one on theback patio.
If there are several times they talk on the phone, then have one early morning, one late, one when
he’s in a noisy place, one where he just woke up, one that is romantic, one that ends in a fight,