Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure

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Writer's Digest Books, Mar 15, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 168 pages
43 Reviews
Craft your fiction with scene-by-scene flow, logic and readability.

An imprisoned man receives an unexpected caller, after which "everything changed..."

And the reader is hooked. But whether or not readers will stay on for the entire wild ride will depend on how well the writer structures the story, scene by scene.

This book is your game plan for success. Using dozens of examples from his own work - including Dropshot, Tiebreaker and other popular novels - Jack M. Bickham will guide you in building a sturdy framework for your novel, whatever its form or length. You'll learn how to:

  • "worry" your readers into following your story to the end
  • prolong your main character's struggle while moving the story ahead
  • juggle cause and effect to serve your story action
As you work on crafting compelling scenes that move the reader, moment by moment, toward the story's resolution, you'll see why...
  • believable fiction must make more sense than real life
  • every scene should end in disaster
  • some scenes should be condensed, and others built big
Whatever your story, this book can help you arrive at a happy ending in the company of satisfied readers.

 

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Excellent, clear reference for writers. - Goodreads
A minor criticism was that it was hard to read. - Goodreads
I recommend it to every writer I know. - Goodreads
Instead of any solid advice, the author offe - Goodreads
I recommend it for any genre writer. - Goodreads
I'm glad I read and will be a better writer for it. - Goodreads

Review: Scene and Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)

User Review  - Michele Cacano - Goodreads

This book is two decades old, but is still relevant. Great breakdown of the building blocks of story and plot. Good examples supplied. Several exercises to analyze your own favorite books and your own writing, throughout the book. I read it with a highlighter pen. Read full review

Review: Scene and Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)

User Review  - Morgan anderson - Goodreads

Not going to lie I read the chapters that were most applicable. Totally thumbed through it. He has great examples in there and it really helped. The writing was slightly dry but hey it's an ... Read full review

All 8 reviews »

Contents

THE STRUCTURE OF MODERN FICTION
1
STRATEGY HOW TO START YOUR STORY AND HOW TO END IT
5
STRUCTURE IN MICROCOSM CAUSE AND EFFECT
12
STRUCTURE IN LARGER ELEMENTS THE SCENE
23
STRUCTURE IN MACROCOSM SCENES WITH RESULTS
31
PLANNING AND REVISING SCENES FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT
41
LINKING YOUR SCENES THE STRUCTURE OF SEQUEL
50
SCENESEQUEL TRICKS TO CONTROL PACE
63
VARIATIONS IN THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF SCENE AND SEQUEL
72
COMMON ERRORS IN SCENES AND HOW TO FIX THEM
83
PLOTTING WITH SCENE AND SEQUEL
92
SPECIALIZED SCENE TECHNIQUES
105
THE STRUCTURE OF CHAPTERS
116
THE SCENIC MASTER PLOT AND HOW TO WRITE ONE
120
APPENDICES
131
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Bickham is a former creative writing professor.

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