Tuesday, March 21, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit - story structure part III

I've been reviewing story structure lately. Despite what the pundits say, there's more than one way to tell a story! You have your 3-17 step hero's journey, your 5 plot-point, your 3 act, your 2 step scene/sequel. Let's start on the far end and work our way in.

Two months ago we did the 5 plot points. Let's look at the 3 act today. 

It's famously used for plays. It's the basic Beginning, Middle, End. But what happens in each of those places that gives this structure its, well, structure?

In a nutshell:

  • The beginning is the setup.
  • The middle is the confrontation.
  • The end is the resolution.

Because each section is so large, this structure works well with the 5 plot points, which give each section its own internal shape. The setup rises toward the catalyst, after which it falls to the end of act I. In act II it rises toward the pinch, then falls to the end of act II. From there it rises to the climax, falling through the resolution of act III.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

2T Repeat Performance -- Vampires and Musicals, oh my!

I've done a number of blog tours over the years, posting on different sites. Now I'm bringing them to you!

Originally published August 14, 2012 for Redheads Review It Better

Thank you, Crystal, for having me here today!

Vampires and musicals. How was this connection made?

Original Samhain Cover

Well, it wasn’t totally voluntary :) The sad fact of my life is that, when I try to plan it out, things often go drastically awry.

I once said I’ll never write vampire stories. Needles and blood make me feel faint. What are sharp-fanged vampires but giant blood sucking needles? I do love alpha males though, and vampires are the ultimate alpha. So when I got a brainstorm for a new kind of vampire, one who drinks blood for his veins instead of his stomach (just a few times a month instead of three times a night), I jumped on it. I wrote two red-hot vampire romances that became Bite My Fire and Biting Nixie.

Why musicals? Back in 2009 the first three books in the Biting Love series released, with the fourth scheduled for early 2010. I wanted to follow them up quickly (I know, slap me with a cosmic “kick me” sign) with book five, so I picked an area that I knew a lot about—music. Specifically, I had just played Reed II in the pit orchestra for a production of The Wizard of Oz. Theater is exciting, all costumes and lights and swirling action. Playing pit is tons of fun with friends and laughter, triumphs and disasters.

With so much great material to draw on, I finished the story quickly and submitted it in May of 2010.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Due to circumstances beyond our control…”? Yeah. Obstacles sprang up out of nowhere, and book five had to wait over two years to be released. 

Entangled Cover
The finished story, Biting Oz, is more than worth all the hassles. I am thrilled with how it turned out, from the dramatic cover to the excellence in editing. The story also has a few new surprises, including entr’actes from the hero’s point of view and the first ever meeting of the vampire spouses of Meiers Corners, seven smart, strong women around one table.

I’ve learned my lesson, though. I can tell you that I’m working on Beauty Bites (Book Six), but I won’t tempt fate by saying when it’ll be done :)

Sunday, March 5, 2023