I’ve often confessed that I am obsessed with reading writing guides to help me (and other authors) to create a page-turning novel that has readers staying up late at night because they simply can’t stop reading.
Any aspiring writer who has every intention of self-publishing their book simply has to read Jack Bickham’s Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure by the fantastic publisher of writing resource books, Writers Digest.
Not only will this great writing guide teach you how to hook your readers, how to structure your story, scene by scene, but most importantly it will teach you how to worry your readers.
Story Structure Blue Print
The publisher claims that this book is your 'game plan for success'. I claim that it will become your blueprint for creating a successful novel. Using dozens of examples from his own work, such as Dropshot and Tiebreaker, Jack M. Bickham guides you through building a sturdy framework for your novel.
As you work on crafting compelling scenes that move the reader, moment by moment, toward the story's resolution, you will learn how to end every scene with a disaster - not always an earthquake type of disaster, small plot points can be disasters too.
My latest novel, which is soon to be published, is based on the blueprint template that Jack gives you. If you need a blueprint to write your novel, read this book and study the basic fundamentals of fiction that make so much sense by the end.
Worry Readers With Worry Plates
For me, Scene & Structure has been paramount in learning how to worry my readers. Jack teaches you how to ‘worry’ your readers into following your story to the end, how to prolong your main character's struggle while moving the story ahead and to juggle cause and effect to create your story action.
BINGO! Jack makes us novelists think of ourselves as jugglers. When you spot a juggler busking on the street you will see that a crowd has gathered around him. That crowd is probably oohing and ahing. Why? Because they are worried about what the juggler will drop.
If there were two jugglers, one with rubber balls up in the air and the other tossing plates into his juggling mix - which would you watch and worry about? The rubber ball juggler can miss a trick and the ball will simply drop and bounce away. No worries.
Whereas the plate juggler will have his audience in twisted knots because they are frantic that his plates will come crashing down.
That’s what Jack is teaching us writers to do. To juggle worry plates! In your own juggling act when you’re writing your page-turning novel, don’t juggle anything other than plates.
Go through your novel and ensure that you throw ‘worry plates’ into the air in each chapter. Don’t throw them on the floor like Greek Dancers do and don’t think that they can come crashing down after you've thrown them into a chapter. They can’t!
You have to leave the plates in the air so you can worry your readers all the way through your novel. That’s what Jack is teaching you to do in this excellent writing guide.
If you can only afford one writing guide to improve your writing this year, it has to be Scene & Structure. Without doubt.
Do yourself the biggest favour and go get Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham now!
Paula Wynne is the founder of Book Hub. She started Book Hub out of a need to market and promote her own fiction. As well as running Book Hub, Paula is an author with several published books.
Paula's Writers' Resource Series features the following books: Pimp My Fiction: How to Write a Novel with The Ultimate List of Creative Writing Books to Create A Plot & Build Character; A~Z Writers’ Character Quirks: A~ Z of Behaviours, Foibles, Habits, Mannerisms & Quirks for Writers’ to Create Fictional and 101 Writers’ Scene Settings: Unique Location Ideas & Sensory Details for Writers’ to Create Vivid Scene.