Carolyn Wheat

The Skeleton Beneath the Skin: Structure and Your Novel


Bouchercon 1997 ~ Monterey, California

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(Class for All levels and especially for those who have started but not completed a novel. 90 minutes) This workshop deals with the mechanics of structure as they apply to both mystery and suspense novels. Specific details: Lecture. Question & Answers. The basic elements are taken from structure concepts developed by screenwriters; the novel is divided into four arcs of about 75 pages. The arcs end at a point of reversal, which sends the next arc into another direction. The overall plan is to break the novel down into manageable components and to deal with the big bad middle, the place where many novels have died. Specific benefits: Many writers plunge into their stories with no concept of structure. After filling many pages, they have no idea where it?s all going. This workshop deals with structure as something that can be worked on my the writer before chapter one is written, or as something that can be imposed after a number of pages are done. The important things is to realize that some parts of the story must be told early on, other things saved for the end, and all the subplots go in the big bad middle. Previous workshop presentations: Book Passages, Bare Bones. U. of Central Okla. writing courses. Presenter?s Publications: Please see Finding Your Voice