February 12th, 2009


The Three-Act Structure: Act Three

So, here we have the final act. It's the easiest to write, but the hardest to write about; at least, I think so.

Again, before we go further, remember: this is my way, and the way of a few writers I know. It is NOT the way of every writer I know; it is not the only way; it is not an iron-clad rule or something which requires complicated flow charts (although the post Patrice Michelle linked to in comments for the last post, which was a post she wrote about, essentially, keeping a flow chart, is a great post and a great method for people who can work that way) or strict word-count deadlines (I'm using a 90k book as an example, and ending the acts at 30k, 60k, and roughly 90k, but you may vary by as much as 10k words or whatever and that's fine). No secret gun-toting Writing Police are going to show up at your home in the dead of night and arrest you for not doing this or not doing it properly or whatever.

These are just guidelines. It's the way I keep the story from getting away from me and the way I keep my pacing on-target. It's not something to obsess about. It's not something to force yourself to do. As Patrice said, if you're writing your first novel or your second or you're still feeling your way through this writing thing (which we all are to some extent, really, no matter how many books we've written), don't get all tangled up in this. You can always go back later and see how you've done and fiddle with it then.


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Interview with the Mysterious (Yet Alluring) Saundra Mitchell

Saundra Mitchell's SHADOWED SUMMER is in bookshops from February 10th, and is one of my favourite books this year (okay, the year is young, but I don't think it's getting displaced anytime soon). Two young girls in a sleepy Southern town raise a ghost and with the ghost too many questions: about lies, love and family. About whether it is ever possible for us to truly lay our dead to rest.

Much like the dead, I am always pestering people, so I secured this interview!

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Thanks Saundra! Shadowed Summer is now out in American shops. Unfortunate devils who live in Ireland wait for their amazon package...