WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice What works for you? Share your experience!


Fiction Writer's Cheat Sheet

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-17-2015, 09:56 AM
charleswhaley (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 113
Thanks: 10
Thanks 22
Default Fiction Writer's Cheat Sheet


Found this, thought you'd like it.
Fiction Writer Cheat Sheet

__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Devon; 08-18-2015 at 01:41 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to charleswhaley For This Useful Post:
K.S. Crooks (03-12-2016)
  #2  
Old 08-17-2015, 10:26 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

Ach! Very large graphic! Lol.

Could you please resize, or perhaps provide a link to it instead? The picture is hanging over the edge.

Edit: Never mind. Placed it under a spoiler tag.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Last edited by Devon; 08-18-2015 at 01:41 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Devon For This Useful Post:
Bagit (08-17-2015)
  #3  
Old 08-17-2015, 06:29 PM
RuleofTwo (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 6
Thanks: 3
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default thank you

I found this graph to be very helpful. One thing i struggle with is structure and guidelines so seeing this is exactly what i needed, ill definitely save this to my computer for future reference.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-26-2015, 03:44 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Hello all.

I think this chart is absolutely great.

However, the chart presupposes the writer has a plan. And the chart represents how to manipulate the story in terms of dramatic tension. And not all successful stories have all the elements mentioned.

Once a plan is devised double checking it with this chart would be wise. On WB there are some writers working from a plan.

Many members on WB seems to be growing their wings and discovering their "voice". And I would warn against taking on a novel before ready. Short Stories and flash fiction are the perfect training ground.

Have a nice writing day.
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-27-2015, 12:20 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

the chart presupposes the writer has a plan
Actually . . . my with my debut novel, I had no plan whatsoever (totally wrote and revised on the fly), and all of the elements in the chart came through in the end . . . without my ever having looked at this particular chart.

These elements, ultimately (at least, I believe) are elements avid readers absorb without even knowing it, and when avid readers become eager writers, they subconsciously know what to do in terms of a plot-driven story. How it's executed is a totally different thing.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-27-2015, 04:54 AM
Bagit's Avatar
Bagit (Offline)
Dungeon Keeper
Administration
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Atlantis; near the west shores of Zingara
Posts: 5,427
Thanks: 878
Thanks 491
Default

Yep. That's how it works for me too, Devon. I would venture to say this kind of writing is sort of character driven.
__________________
Battle is tricky. Sometimes one can only hope that luck strikes favorably. But without effort, luck is sacrificed.
We The People!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-27-2015, 08:01 AM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Hi Devon.

I agree that a well read writer can learn the advantages a plan has for a complex story.

To my mind, I think that the collective mind (readers) determines the success of a story. That chart is a blueprint of what happens to a mind reading a story with a certain series of events. It's a way to maintain dramatic tension.

But it's a formula. Which takes the fun out of writing. It's sort of writing to the numbers.

My personal experience is that my feeble mind cannot remember all the details in a complex story. To overcome this, I slowly develop a plan with all sorts of associated notes to remind me of things I want to include. I could translate my story into a plan based on the suggestions of the chart.

When I studied playwriting, there's a concept called 'the well made play', consisting of 3 acts, with so many scenes per act. It felt like writing by the numbers. But I took my story and manipulated it to fit the recipe. That made it easier to write.

Short Stories, flashes, even Long Short Stories I can do without a plan. And I celebrate the freedom it allows me.

I did try to do a complex story without a plan once. Every time I worked on it I wrote myself into a corner. I eventually had to stop work on it and make a plan so I would stop wandering all over the story. That allowed me to finish it.

If you don't want to use such a chart to manipulate your story, then don't. However, when you finish your rough draft, using such a chart as the source of analysis of what you wrote could be beneficial. That's because the chart, without saying so, reflects what happens to a 'Reader's mind' when they experience a story.

That chart reflects the characteristics of a page turner. The only other thing I'd add to this is that not all writers work for the big bucks. If you're writing to convey a personal experience, and want to be true to that experience, you'll drive yourself nuts manipulating your experience to the chart. If you want to create a mood, a sense of place, a profile, the chart is worthless.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Yet, once again, I've allowed myself to be diverted from my work. "Ye Gads, Bill, get off your ass and start writing!!"

Have a nice writing day.
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.

Last edited by wrc; 08-27-2015 at 08:06 AM.. Reason: editorial
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-27-2015, 08:32 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

But it's a formula. Which takes the fun out of writing.
Yes, true, if you follow it from the get-go and follow it to the letter.

I've written a three-part, 180K word fantasy novel never using anything like that at all -- never even planned the damned thing; wrote it all on the fly and revised it a jillion times -- and still it came out in that pattern.

I still think it's all subconscious; it gets absorbed when we read good books through the years. Books that actually do follow that pattern.

Outlining, though, is completely different.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-28-2015, 11:21 AM
jimr (Offline)
Noteworthy
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 333
Thanks: 5
Thanks 38
Default

Devon—what are you writing fantasy for? Come on! Anyway, good luck with your work all.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-28-2015, 11:59 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

jimr--I write fantasy because that's what my busy mind spews out.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-30-2015, 01:25 AM
Gaines's Avatar
Gaines (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tidepool
Posts: 7,017
Thanks: 1,463
Thanks 870
Default

Originally Posted by Devon View Post
jimr--I write fantasy because that's what my busy mind spews out.

Don't let her kid you! It's her meds!
__________________
"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." Fitzgerald
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Gaines For This Useful Post:
Devon (08-30-2015)
  #12  
Old 08-30-2015, 02:22 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

LOLOL! Actually, I'd be afraid to discover what meds would take away from creativity.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-01-2015, 06:40 AM
jimr (Offline)
Noteworthy
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 333
Thanks: 5
Thanks 38
Default

I cannot make a supportive comment, nor say anything polite about this. Sorry. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-01-2015, 07:08 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

Hey, that was a very polite thing to say, really.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-01-2015, 07:34 PM
poirot (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 800
Thanks: 29
Thanks 105
Default

It is just general enough that you can take any story, good or bad, and point out those elements, points, steps, whatever you want to call them.

For screenwriting there's a formula that outlines precisely where each point should take place. Supposedly it makes the screenplay successful. And yet writers follow the formula and it's not successful. Which takes me back to the original point. It's just general enough....
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-02-2015, 08:56 PM
Motley Crew's Avatar
Motley Crew (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 256
Thanks: 10
Thanks 30
Default

Originally Posted by wrc View Post
Hello all.

I think this chart is absolutely great.

However, the chart presupposes the writer has a plan. And the chart represents how to manipulate the story in terms of dramatic tension. And not all successful stories have all the elements mentioned.

Once a plan is devised double checking it with this chart would be wise. On WB there are some writers working from a plan.

Many members on WB seems to be growing their wings and discovering their "voice". And I would warn against taking on a novel before ready. Short Stories and flash fiction are the perfect training ground.

Have a nice writing day.
I personally agree that writing without a plan is the best way to keep it real.

I haven't seen the chart referred to here. But. I have heard that four beats are required for writing. And disagree. What I find is a true statement is that all stories share commonalities. A protagonist whose perspective is followed. In general an antagonist of verying evil or idioticness. A goal is generally set by the protagonist and generally impeded by the antagonist, intentionally or otherwise and victory achieved anyway. Unless the genre is horror in which case defeat is generally the ending. There is no cookie cutter guide to writing in my experience. If the story keeps you typing it'll probably keep the reader reading. Whether or not it follows this chart.

Arte.
__________________
The pen is only mightier than the sword when the collective draws their swords on reflex to slay the beast described in fiction.
Without support of the masses a writer is the most vulnerable entity of all. He crawls into the shadows of night and returns only at the crack of dawn.

PM me when dawn breaks.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-03-2015, 12:27 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

I personally agree that writing without a plan is the best way to keep it real.
Absolutely agree with this! In fact, that's exactly how I write all of my own books.

But! I'm still saying . . . I wrote my debut novel completely on the fly, revised it without ever seeing a chart like that, and STILL it came out in that pattern. I still believe we subconsciously absorb the pattern of certain books that we read, and it comes out in what we write. Will it happen all the time? No. Should it? No. That's too "cookie cutter" and formulaic. Everything should be creatively done, written from the heart, and many stories are whatever they make themselves out to be. Some suck. Some don't. Everything is what it is.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-03-2015, 01:58 PM
Bagit's Avatar
Bagit (Offline)
Dungeon Keeper
Administration
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Atlantis; near the west shores of Zingara
Posts: 5,427
Thanks: 878
Thanks 491
Default

I still believe we subconsciously absorb the pattern of certain books that we read
Quite true. The style, the mechanics, the emotion and even the imagery can be absorbed. This has influenced me to start many a short story.

It gets magical(and a little weird, I might add) when certain characters come to life, as if standing on your shoulder and whispering in your ear! Those characters can drive the story onward for many pages at a time. Then poof! You're on your own carrying the story forward because of their help.

Ah, if only these "super" characters could be shackled like an earring!
__________________
Battle is tricky. Sometimes one can only hope that luck strikes favorably. But without effort, luck is sacrificed.
We The People!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bagit For This Useful Post:
Devon (09-03-2015)
  #19  
Old 09-04-2015, 07:41 AM
poirot (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 800
Thanks: 29
Thanks 105
Default

I think an ability to be real, fleshed out characters, etc, is more important than following a formula.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-04-2015, 09:47 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

I think an ability to be real, fleshed out characters, etc, is more important than following a formula.
Agreed. But that's not really what we're saying, here. We're not following a formula. The formula, essentially, is following us into our work via osmosis.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Devon For This Useful Post:
Bagit (03-04-2016)
  #21  
Old 10-09-2015, 10:05 AM
Jacobs (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 32
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by charleswhaley View Post
Found this, thought you'd like it.
Fiction Writer Cheat Sheet
I like the W graph. But this is better: http://www.kalbashir1.blogspot.co.uk/
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-03-2016, 05:16 PM
chat bot's Avatar
chat bot (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OFF-AIR
Posts: 2,003
Thanks: 6
Thanks 271
Default

this would kill me if i used it. but it sounded helpful. probably for the people who lack disciplinary tactics of their own!
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
💭
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-11-2016, 01:47 AM
stufalop (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Personally I just sit and write... I've tried the whole "plan" thing and it didn't work well. I found myself getting bored and frustrated with the process. But different things work for different people!
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-12-2016, 07:29 PM
K.S. Crooks's Avatar
K.S. Crooks (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 154
Thanks: 1
Thanks 27
Default

It is nice to see there is merit to some of the way I've been going about my writing. Thanks for posting this.
__________________
K.S. Crooks- Dreamer and Author

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-12-2016, 11:28 PM
2cools (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Originally Posted by Devon View Post
jimr--I write fantasy because that's what my busy mind spews out.
I feel more relax when i write fantasy as it makes your mind float in whatever direction.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Tips & Advice


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How I Learned To Write Fiction starrwriter Writers' Cafe 5 08-26-2015 04:08 PM
Challenge for Fiction Writers Phyllis Stewart Writers' Cafe 10 10-16-2011 05:08 PM
Character chart for fiction writers Another Editor Writers' Cafe 12 06-30-2011 01:01 AM
Interested in joining the Writer's Beat Staff? DFischer The Notice Board 52 06-19-2008 08:23 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:11 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.