Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG Blog Hop: Structuring Your Story, IWSG Question of the Day

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
IWSG Question for the Month

IWSG Question for September IWSG Blog Hop: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?
I discovered while writing my latest mystery, Deadly Undertaking, in order to complete the project, I had to set a time every day to write, just as if I had a doctor or dentist appointment to keep. I chose to write after lunch. At first, it was very difficult to just stop my activities for the day and go to the laptop. But I later discovered I couldn't wait to get lunch eaten and the kitchen cleaned up so I could write. Perhaps if you develop this "habit" of choosing the one time of the day you can actually sit down and do it, you'll begin to look forward to writing and hop to it. Best wishes!
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Structuring Your Story
Structuring Your Story

I read this article by Marcy Kennedy on story structure. She writes, "These are your major plot points. I call them the Commitment Point (20-25%), the Flip Point (50%), and the All Is Lost (75%). (The percentages are approximate.)"

I have never believed in using a strict structure like this for a plot line. I've read numerous authors' articles on using this "formula" for story structure, but  
I never considered trying to write my cozy mysteries with the guidelines because I didn't want to write to a "formula." 

Marcy opened my eyes to the idea that readers expect the story to develop along these lines. Now I am wondering if I should try to use the formula because I want my readers to have a good reading experience. 

Do you structure your plots according to the "rules?" Do you agree or disagree with having events occur at the percentage points in your book? I would love to get your feedback on this idea.

Marci has four excellent articles in the series. They helped me examine my thoughts on writing novels. If you have time, click this link to take a peek at it. 

The link will take you to the article on structure and to the others in her series on Dissecting Books.

Thanks for stopping in.

22 comments:

Diane Burton said...

That's great that you found a time to write that works for you. Mine is 1st thing in the morning. If I tried to write after lunch, I'd fall asleep. LOL We find what works for us. You're right about reader expectations, not formula. Best wishes on making that writing time work for you.

emaginette said...

And I use plot points to keep my word count tight. It's just a tool and nothing more. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Juneta Key said...

I am a panster, but I am learning to like some structure. The one you have there sounds interesting and intrusive to the panster than other I have read. Thanks I made a note of it.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

J Q Rose said...

JQ Rose

J Q Rose said...

Diane--I'd fall asleep in the morning! LOL I thought writing in the morning would work better for me too, but I found I was too curious about emails and FB in the morning, so I get that out of the way first and do marketing jobs,etc. Then I can write in the pm without checking the Internet!

J Q Rose said...

Anna- that's a great idea on keeping word count tight. Thanks for sharing.

J Q Rose said...

Juneta--I also have read K.M. Weiland's articles on story structure too in case you need even more info. I'd love to know if you could use the structure after being a pantser. Good experiment.

Sandra Cox said...

Hi JQ! I saw you'd left a comment on a blog I'd visited and it reminded me we hadn't chatted in awhile. So....I just stopped by to say hey:)

Juneta Key said...

I am one of K M Weiland's Wordplayers on her street team and private FB group that she started this years, I have been following her for long time too. She does good work and I own all her books too.

Juneta Key said...

No I can't be that structure but I do light outlining, list and mind maps.

Juneta Key said...

I tried beats and that pants off book which all have helped but I'm not that structured I can only go so far with it or lose interest and muse refuses to play.

Marsha said...

Good post, JQ. I don't use any of those systems either. I plot, but have never been able to wrap my head around all those systems. The main thing is to find what works for you. After lunch is when I nap. LOL But if it works for you super. :) I shared.

Susan Bernhardt said...

Hello J.Q. I think everyone should do what works for them. When my husband retired I went from writing parts of five days a week to two full days a week. I think I am more productive knowing I have only these two days a week to write. I avoid social media after about an hour when I wake up and I get to it and I write from about 9 a.m. to around 3-4 p.m.

I don't have a formula for writing and I would never use one. I've taken several writing courses. I've seen formulas. I write how I want to write and readers seem to enjoy my mysteries. I don't want cookie cutter books. :)

Thank you for a great post!

Nicola said...

Great post, J.Q. and I will look at the 'plotting' article. I've never analysed it in such a way before. Interesting. I write first thing in a morning before the household duties take over. Have a lovely week.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi J.Q.,

I do structure my stories but I don't know whether they are just like as you described. I even have two white boards before my computer in my office. I graph it out the plot. It helps me see the loopholes.

Hope this helps you.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

J Q Rose said...

Hello Sandra! Good to "see" ya'. Thanks for coming by.

J Q Rose said...

Marsha--the reason I chose to write after lunch was because my hubby takes a nap then--just like you!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Susan--I like your phrase of "cookie cutter" books. Interesting you find you are more productive with your all day writing schedule. Yes indeed we need to find what works for each of us. Thanks.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I took a 3-Act structure course online with Alex Sokoloff that was amazing. I can't recommend it enough. Changed my ease at structuring my stories. I wasn't keen on the idea at first; I actually took the course to learn how to write effective loglines and query letters. But she broke down several movies and showed how every thing written since Chaucer has this structure. I found the course invigorating. I will check out Marcy's article. Thanks.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Nicola--Wring first thing in the morning is popular with many writers it seems. Too bad we have to take care of the household chores, isn't it? LOL

J Q Rose said...

Joylene--I've read about the 3 act structure. Good to know it works for you. I'm not opposed to learning new ways of writing. After reading your comment that this method is invigorating, I'll take a look at it. Thanks for your input.

J Q Rose said...

Pat, that's a great idea to use the white boards. I'm still at the sticky note stage for my plotting method. (or should I sat plodding method?) Thank you for stopping in.