11 plot cheatsheets

Here's the place to share a writing or marketing tip you've used successfully and want to pass along.
plughmann
Sergeant
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:59 pm

11 plot cheatsheets

Postby plughmann » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:11 pm

http://www.eadeverell.com/wp-content/uploads/EA-Deverell-Plot-Formula-Cheatsheet.pdf

In spite of the differences they are all amazingly alike.

Four of them are very usable to use to architect your novel.
Fill in the way points and it would be routine to fill in the rest and write the whole thing.

Of course the trick is to pick good gates for your slalom to the conclusion at breakneck speed.

User avatar
ostarella
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 am

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby ostarella » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:55 pm

Most of them seemed very obvious, and repetitious even within their own structure. Nothing I would use, but we all have our own way to "The End" so I imagine they can be helpful to some.

plughmann
Sergeant
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby plughmann » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:59 pm

[quote="ostarella"]Most of them seemed very obvious, and repetitious even within their own structure. Nothing I would use, but we all have our own way to "The End" so I imagine they can be helpful to some.[/quote]


I would think they would be helpful to anyone writing a novel who has not yet gotten enough experience to develop their own process.

User avatar
ostarella
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 am

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby ostarella » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:57 am

[quote="plughmann"][quote="ostarella"]Most of them seemed very obvious, and repetitious even within their own structure. Nothing I would use, but we all have our own way to "The End" so I imagine they can be helpful to some.[/quote]


I would think they would be helpful to anyone writing a novel who has not yet gotten enough experience to develop their own process.[/quote]


I always tell new writers to try different things and see what works. I was basically adding to your comment that they seemed very similar.

rob-lost
Corporal
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 11:22 am
Location: IL, USA

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby rob-lost » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:11 am

[quote="plughmann"][quote="ostarella"]Most of them seemed very obvious, and repetitious even within their own structure. Nothing I would use, but we all have our own way to "The End" so I imagine they can be helpful to some.[/quote]


I would think they would be helpful to anyone writing a novel who has not yet gotten enough experience to develop their own process.[/quote]
Maybe.

Then again, maybe not.

"To a man with a hammer, everything's a nail."

This is a tool. Tools can be great in the right circumstances. So-so in borderline circumstances. And awful in the wrong circumstances. The value is all in how the tool is used. Not so much the tool itself.
Write for the love of writing? Try my Writers Writing forum
http://writerswriting.proboards.com

plughmann
Sergeant
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby plughmann » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:52 am

[quote="rob-lost"][quote="plughmann"][quote="ostarella"]Most of them seemed very obvious, and repetitious even within their own structure. Nothing I would use, but we all have our own way to "The End" so I imagine they can be helpful to some.[/quote]


I would think they would be helpful to anyone writing a novel who has not yet gotten enough experience to develop their own process.[/quote]
Maybe.

Then again, maybe not.

"To a man with a hammer, everything's a nail."

This is a tool. Tools can be great in the right circumstances. So-so in borderline circumstances. And awful in the wrong circumstances. The value is all in how the tool is used. Not so much the tool itself.[/quote]


Roger that. A fool with a tool is still a fool.

What I like is that they give an architecture for a novel. Whether you plot or pants it indicates things that would happen in a good story. Of course there are other ways to tell a story , but for the new writer it is a big help to keep them on track.

User avatar
ostarella
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 am

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby ostarella » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:03 am

[quote="plughmann"]Of course there are other ways to tell a story , but for the new writer it is a big help to keep them on track.[/quote]

It could be a big help - it could be a big disaster. Any time a method or a range of methods is discussed, it should be couched in "possibles", not "definites". New writers should be open to experimenting, but not feel like they need to use any method or they'll be doing it wrong.

plughmann
Sergeant
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby plughmann » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:32 am

[quote="ostarella"][quote="plughmann"]Of course there are other ways to tell a story , but for the new writer it is a big help to keep them on track.[/quote]

It could be a big help - it could be a big disaster. Any time a method or a range of methods is discussed, it should be couched in "possibles", not "definites". New writers should be open to experimenting, but not feel like they need to use any method or they'll be doing it wrong.[/quote]


I was always taught to break the rules.
But only after you had learned what the rules were.

Musicians in a band can't really do improv well until they have mastered the scales and keys so they don't have to think about them and can concentrate on the actual music. Composers would also do better knowing the basics and traditional usage first.

These writing templates are not a straight jacket. They are signposts for a good way from here to the finish of the story.
You are certainly free to take detours or even another path altogether.

They simply show how most stories flow, not how all of them do flow or how any must flow.
Until you have the experience to do your own thing, it seems beneficial to use them as a guide.

User avatar
ostarella
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 am

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby ostarella » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:48 am

[quote="plughmann"]
I was always taught to break the rules.
But only after you had learned what the rules were.

Musicians in a band can't really do improv well until they have mastered the scales and keys so they don't have to think about them and can concentrate on the actual music. Composers would also do better knowing the basics and traditional usage first.

These writing templates are not a straight jacket. They are signposts for a good way from here to the finish of the story.
You are certainly free to take detours or even another path altogether.

They simply show how most stories flow, not how all of them do flow or how any must flow.
Until you have the experience to do your own thing, it seems beneficial to use them as a guide.[/quote]



Well, again - these templates are not rules and have nothing to do with rules. None of them have to be mastered or learned before being able to "innovate". One can also read novels and short stories to learn about story flow.

There are no rules when it comes to the method a writer uses to get to "The End". It is definitely beneficial to TRY these templates and even take bits and pieces from them - but I can guarantee that many writers would become so hopelessly mired in trying to follow the "steps" that nothing of any value would actually get written.

plughmann
Sergeant
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: 11 plot cheatsheets

Postby plughmann » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:03 pm

[quote="ostarella"][quote="plughmann"]
I was always taught to break the rules.
But only after you had learned what the rules were.

Musicians in a band can't really do improv well until they have mastered the scales and keys so they don't have to think about them and can concentrate on the actual music. Composers would also do better knowing the basics and traditional usage first.

These writing templates are not a straight jacket. They are signposts for a good way from here to the finish of the story.
You are certainly free to take detours or even another path altogether.

They simply show how most stories flow, not how all of them do flow or how any must flow.
Until you have the experience to do your own thing, it seems beneficial to use them as a guide.[/quote]



Well, again - these templates are not rules and have nothing to do with rules. None of them have to be mastered or learned before being able to "innovate". One can also read novels and short stories to learn about story flow.

There are no rules when it comes to the method a writer uses to get to "The End". It is definitely beneficial to TRY these templates and even take bits and pieces from them - but I can guarantee that many writers would become so hopelessly mired in trying to follow the "steps" that nothing of any value would actually get written.[/quote]




They are guidelines to what has worked. Just like music theory will help a new composer.

Anybody can innovate. Artists deride those who innovate without knowing what they are doing. Picasso could draw traditional portraits before he started doing his innovation.

Anybody can innovate. Kids bang on the piano and make 'music'. They make better music after they have had lessons.

The Socratic method is slow and difficult. Yes, you could read novels to see how it was done.
Far better easier faster to study what has been written about it; and that provides a condensed summary of the essence of a good story.

These templates are not steps. Although there are some good workable processes that include a more prescriptive approach. You can pantsit or plot with them in mind to help keep yourself on track. Many writers can't easily keep the big picture in mind while down in the weeds writing dialog and description, so having a template , or an 'outline' (not the Harvard style), or a beat sheet, is a big help for them to avoid getting into dead ends, taking wrong turns, and having to waste a lot of time doing rewrites after they throw away what just won't fit.

Experienced writers and those with a really good memory won't need to do all that and can just jump in and start writing.

These templates are merely guide posts that indicate if you took that path then your story would have a good structure. It is still up to the writer to innovate the details and sequence of scenes to travel by the guide posts. And if you miss a gate on the slalom to the finish you are not disqualified although the story may not be as good as it could have been.

But it sure seems easier to connect the dots to make all the scenes line up well from start to finish if you have the major ones figured out before you start.
That does not kill creativity. It just moves it closer to the beginning than later in the detailed writing effort.

Next

Return to Tips and Advice

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests