How Five-Part Structure Can Make Revision Easier

By Posted in - On Writing on June 3rd, 2010 1 Comments

During tonight’s #ScribeChat we’re discussing how to edit your manuscript, and one of my bibles for self-revision is a wonderful book by Elizabeth Lyon, MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER, in which she states that:

“Understanding and reflecting dramatic structure is fundamental to fiction writing.”

For typically structured manuscripts she suggests employing a five-stage structure during your analysis of your manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. In essence, it goes something like this:

  1. A character has a problem
  2. Complications arise and conflict intensifies
  3. Crises culminate in a climax
  4. The problem is resolved
  5. The hero or heroine learns something about self or life.

If you can answer the questions of each stage, you’re a long way to achieving a well-structured manuscript, and even if you didn’t know your theme before, it should be apparent by the time you’ve answered them.

I’ll be adding to this post after the chat, but this will get you started!

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(1) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Victoria Dixon - Reply

    June 4, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Thanks, Lia! I’m experimenting on a new opening and this is good to keep in mind, since I just cut about 30,000 words. ;D
    .-= Victoria Dixon´s last blog ..The Latest From Nathan =-.

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