Writing Tip #1

The Writer’s Little Helper
By James V. Smith, Jr.

The Ten-Scene Tool

Point A, The Opener*
Complication
Complication
Point of No Return Complication*
Complication
Complication
Complication
Complication*
Point X, The Closer (Climax)*
Ending*

*Identify these scenes first, starting with Point A and Point X.

This is one of the most fun tools I’ve seen for writing in a while. It makes writing seem so easy. When I’m thinking about a new story, there’s always a couple of scenes that are really clear in my mind. Writing them down right away and spreading out from those main scenes makes a lot sense to me.

This is a good way to figure out the structure of your book without spending a bunch of energy writing out a detailed outline. Personally, when I write out a full outline, I lose a lot of the energy I originally had for the book. However, not having a detailed outline does make writing the first draft a lot faster, so it’s all about personal preference.

Pros
Fun, fast, simple way to figure out your novel.

Cons
Not really any cons I can think of. Even if you want to do a more detailed outline, you can start with this technique and develop it as far as you’d like. If you don’t like outlining, this honestly doesn’t take much time or energy. However, you end up with a clearer view of how strong your plot is and if you need to think through any sections a little more.

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