Monday, March 22, 2010

Writer's Book Shelf-Plot and Structure

Book Review: James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure

By: Christina Adams

As you might guess from the title, this is a book for the writer who wants to dive deeper into technical aspects of writing a story or novel. Unlike many writers' book, that only have a chapter to devote to plotting, this book goes into detail on what a plot is, how to tell if it is not working and what to do to spruce it up. It also covers the structure of character archs, complex plots and the twist endings.

Even though this book has the word 'structure' in its title, it isn't only for people who love outlines and structuring. Bell covers both sides of the writing brain and points out the benefits of right-brained creativity and left-brained logic, as well as ways to make both sides stronger.

Reading this book has helped me to be aware of what I am trying to do with the characters and plots in my story. I have been able to create tighter plots and been able to recognize and avoid the mistakes I used to make. I would recommend this book for all fiction writers.

Book quote: "No matter what kind of novelist you are, there's one thing you will have when you've completed your manuscript--a plot.... The only question at that point will be, "Does it work?" By "work" I mean connect with readers. That's the function of plot after all. The reading experience is supposed to transport people, move them through the power of story. Plot is the grid that makes it happen."

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