Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure

( 8 )

Overview

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 ...

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Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Using numerous examples from his own novels--including Dropshot, Tiebreaker, and others--Bickham guides writers in building a suitable framework for their novel, no matter what its form or length. Includes exercises, checklists, projects. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898799064
  • Publisher: F+W Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Elements of Fiction Writing Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 251,081
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Structure of Modern Fiction 1
Ch. 2 Strategy: How to Start Your Story and How to End It 5
Ch. 3 Structure in Microcosm: Cause and Effect 12
Ch. 4 Structure in Larger Elements: The Scene 23
Ch. 5 Structure in Macrocosm: Scenes with Results 31
Ch. 6 Planning and Revising Scenes for Maximum Effect 41
Ch. 7 Linking Your Scenes: The Structure of Sequel 50
Ch. 8 Scene-Sequel Tricks to Control Pace 63
Ch. 9 Variations in the Internal Structure of Scene and Sequel 72
Ch. 10 Common Errors in Scenes and How to Fix Them 83
Ch. 11 Plotting with Scene and Sequel 92
Ch. 12 Specialized Scene Techniques 105
Ch. 13 The Structure of Chapters 116
Ch. 14 The Scenic Master Plot and How to Write One 120
Appendices 131
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2006

    SEQUELS, A REVELATION

    Over the years I¿ve read dozens of ¿how-to-write¿ books, and I consider Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham to be one of the most important. The first chapters include worthwhile information, but much of that material is also covered in other books. What sets Scene and Structure apart from others is Bickham¿s description of sequel and how, combined with scenes, they can be used to structure and control the pace of a novel. If you¿re a serious student of the craft of novel writing, I whole-heartedly encourage you to obtain a copy and study it. Bickham¿s descriptions of scenes and how to use them was helpful. But his breakdown of the mechanics of sequels was a revelation for me. This one chapter is worth the price of the entire book, and more. I was fortunate to have read Scene and Structure as I was drafting my first young-adult novel, The Brute. I incorporated scene-and-sequel structure into my writing of Cracks from the beginning of the writing process to the end. Some of my chapters are structured with easily recognizable scenes and sequels, but others are adaptations to fit the needs of the story, as suggested by Bickham. My target readers are accustomed to the pace of today¿s movies and computer games. With scenes and sequels as the building blocks, I have a chance to create an emotional rollercoaster that can hold the attention of even the most reluctant readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2002

    great book for logical thinkers

    If you're stuck on 'how to make it all fit together,' then this is the book you want! It explains how to structure fiction - it's sort of the fiction equivalent of the nonfiction essay structure we all learned in high school (thesis statement + supporting paragraphs + concluding statement). I love this book! My productivity doubled after I read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Jack Bickham is an excellent writing coach/teacher and he has detailed all you need to know about writing novels right here. Required reading for any writer engaged in novel writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2013

    An epiphany

    As a struggling writer, I wondered why my stories seemed to get lost in a stream of dead and useless scenes. How did it all go wrong? Why is my plot going haywire and heading in the wrong direction? What the hell is a scene, anyway? Well, this was the book that FINALLY put that all into perspective (after having read countless other books on plot and effective novel writing). No book or writing class was able to explain scene writing the way this book did for me. I already grasped sequel writing quite well. In fact, through this book, I discovered that I did way too much of it! And if I did develop a scene, it was purposeless, lifeless, and entirely with dull consequences that would never keep a reader interested. Even more, I've come to understand how to control the pace of a novel through scene and sequel. I understand how the two can't thrive without one another. I get it now. THANK YOU, Mr. Bickham!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2010

    Great Fiction Formula

    This book gives an insight into fiction writing. If you are looking for a "formula" this book provides that. Not too difficult of a read and very informative. I have learned the concepts discussed in this book through writing classes, but this book made it a little easier to understand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    Linda Lavid, author of RENTED ROOMS

    Whether you're a novice or seasoned writer, Scene and Structure is a must for anyone who wishes to construct riveting fiction. Building scene, then following it with sequel, will improve your story ten fold. This book helped me immensely.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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