Hook ’em Good: Reflections on Chapter Two

Fun fact: the mascot at my university was a longhorn bull and our motto was “Hook ’em!” Sad fact: rarely do writers grow horns and hook their reader in the gut. In a sense that’s what Mr Ed’s book is all about: not so much throwing a line into the […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 39: Putting it all together

Phew. Now that we got through that whole book, it’s time to sketch a quick plot. Mr Bell suggests we take everything we know and write a plot summary. So, we need LOCK for the general layout (lead, objective, conflict, knockout). We need ARM (action, reaction, more action). And of […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 38: Plot Tools

In Mr Bell’s final chapter (FINAL CHAPTER!!!) the gentleman of plot offers us a peek inside his tool chest. Inside is an assortment of techniques we can use to spruce up a tricky novel. The metaphor, which he offers at the beginning of the chapter to help us understand this […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 30: Pants or Post-its?

Security or variety? To plan or not to plan? These are the questions a writer must ask himself when setting out on this adventure. In the conversation are two styles when it comes to plot: write from the seat of your pants, or plot out the order of events in […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 25: Take Home This

Determine the take-home value of your novel. This can be done at any stage of your plotting. If you do it early, keep it in mind as you develop your scenes. but be careful . . . the message must come out naturally.   Mr Bell makes an important point […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 8.6: The Music Video

“Music is the shortcut to the heart,” says Mr Bell. Thus, we should listen to something that lights our fuse, music of any style, then close our eyes and let our imagination run. Once we settle on something worth writing about, listen to the music to get you in the […]

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