Tag Archives: plot

Your Novel in Notecards: A Revision Exercise

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

It has been over a year since I finished the first draft of my novel and I would really be humbled to say I have a very clean, ready-to-be-sent-draft. I don’t. The reason most likely stems from the fact that I wasn’t really sure where to start with revision. It’s an overwhelming beast, as I am sure you know if you’ve been sadistic enough to do it. Most days my brain hurts just thinking about it. I began the process by doing a complete read through and then going chapter by chapter rewriting and making more notes in the sidebar until my Word doc looked like a flippin’ Norton Anthology.

Let me tell you a secret: I’ve been informed there’s a better way. Continue reading

Practical Prompt 6-7-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you’re foundering in your story’s second act, the problem could be you’re not as sure of your story’s direction as you thought you were. Try skipping the middle and write the climax first. Once you have a firm beginning and end, it’s easier to see the path you’ll need to take your characters down to prepare them for the end.

Practical Prompt 5-31-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Making things bad for your character is good, but adversity that doesn’t push the plot can exhaust—and then bore—your reader. Look over the bad breaks you’ve given your characters and make sure that each is necessary and drives them further along in the story. Cut any that don’t move the plot.

Practical Prompt 5-10-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Does your scene feel ho-hum, despite having high stakes and intense conflict in it? Perhaps you are repeating plot beats by not allowing your characters to change, learn or grow by the end of the scene. Re-read your scene from beginning to end to see if anything really changed for your character or his situation. If it doesn’t, either cut it or re-write it so it advances the story.

Practical Prompt 3-22-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

In the beginning of most stories, the protagonist often plays a defensive game, reacting to circumstances driven by the opposition. But at some point, she has to take charge of the story. Write the scene where your main character goes on the offensive and takes control of the story’s direction.