Plotting with a Storyboard. Act 1.
There are whole books on this topic, but it’s my blog and I’m sharing my two cents.
Opening Image. If you’re an aspiring author, you’ve probably heard the advice over and over—start where the change starts, where the action begins. In a romance, it’s usually less than a day before the two main characters meet for the first time—or after a long gap if it’s a reunion love story. HINT: the opening really should invoke an image, a picture that can be vivid and the reader will want to come back when you have the bookend ending.
Meet the Heroine. Before the reader can meet your heroine, you need to know her like a best friend or a sister. I keep a notebook and fill out the character’s GMC (see Deborah Dixon’s book: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict) plus add physical characteristics and another block at the bottom of the GMC chart for quirks—little personality things that make your character unique.
Heroine’s Inner and Outer Desires. If you do your GMC chart, this one should be easy. Even in a romance, there needs to be another story. What is going on in this person’s life—a stalker, a struggle for a promotion at work, etc.? That’s the outer desire. The inner desire is why—why is this outer thing so important? The best stories are those where the hero and/or heroine gets what they want and turns out that’s not it at all. Where do you get inspiration for these? The newspaper, history, and other stories. Take a story and give it a little twist.
Heroine’s Arc. How is your heroine going to grow over the story? Don’t forget—the main story, the romance, and faith points.
Meet the Hero. All of the above, but do try to vary his appearance and characteristics. I’ve seen so many cookie-cutter heroes and we want to feel like this man could be real (but he’s a really good real).
Introduce Love Interest. The love interest is the hero. And he should be a hero—in some way, he saves the cat, the town, the heroine (or she can save herself, but still let him save something). Some more recent novels humiliate the hero. That’s not romantic, that’s the start of a very bad relationship.
Hero’s Arc. The hero also needs to struggle—have inner/outer desires, and grow in his faith.
Inciting Incident /Call to Adventure. Believe it or not, all of the above happens within the first twenty to thirty pages. Much of the growth arc, etc. will start in the beginning, and you need to know what it’s going to be, but it happens throughout the book.
State the Theme—FAITH POINT 1. What are your characters learning about God throughout the book? That needs to be hinted at early and realized by the end.
We’re not done…I’ll be back soon with more. Hope this helps those who are interested in the writer’s process. Be sure to subscribe to my blog and to join me on Facebook at ChristinaSinisi—author. https://www.facebook.com/Christina-Sinisi-Author-105861987440664/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Question: Do you disagree with any of the above? Have questions? Let's start a conversation1