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3 Tips on Writing a Novel that aren't Complete Bullshit


Today, I spent a good many hours scouring the internet for tips on improving my writing. You know, useful and practical suggestions for someone who has actually written a bit and wants hints on some of the finer points of writing—you know, as opposed to just wanting to learn how to get publishers interested in the latest Hunger Games or Twilight knock-off. Well, other than the two masters of storytelling—Stan Lee and Stephen King—I found nothing. I thought to myself, “Blake, even you could offer better writing advice than this!” And so I have. Here are three non-subjective tips for the beginning writer.


Tip 1: Pay attention to “Point of View” (POV)

The first mistake I made in writing my novel, and one that I have seen in every single beginning writer's work that I have edited since, is that I did not really pay attention to POV and narration. When telling a story, it is important to remember two things. First, nobody wants God to tell the story. In a room filled with a dozen people, there is so much going on inside everyone's head and in their actions that it would fill a book in about an hour. And when there is simply too much going on, the reader ceases to care and is very confused. After all, if the reader was God, he or she would not spend their time listing every monotonous detail of what they were seeing, but instead finding something more interesting to watch—which brings me to point number two. Pick a focus character (or one at a time) and tell the story through that person's eyes. This way, readers will pick up on the important details, while also having a single-focus lens to look through. If this doesn't make sense, imagine how much better a movie is with just one camera's perspective used at a time, as opposed to the six of them all being played simultaneously.


Tip 2: Outline your story.

I used to prefer just writing free-style, as most writers begin doing. But, when you do that, two major things happen. First, with the lack of direction, you stop caring where you are going with the story, since there is no dramatic force that can force along pointless meandering. Second, even if you do not lose interest, your plot will be a noodle-like mess with no structure, and your audience will lose interest—just like with a television series with no end or destination in sight. Even if you love the characters, you eventually just give up watching because it becomes a dull act of voyeurism where you are just watching a vignette of a life without any actual story. If a solid outline is too restricting, try using the 3-Act Story Structure en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-ac… and just write a paragraph describing each Act. This structure will turn the pasta into a carefully molded form until you find yourself eating a Lasagna instead of soggy, wet noodles.


Tip 3: Don't overpower your characters.

At the most basic level, reading a novel is an escape from the world around us. As such, we want the worlds we create in our stories, as well as the characters, to be the embodiment of the ideals we wish were reality. As such, we create flawless heroes or perfectly flawed heroes, and villains that embody all the evil we see around us, which we wish could be defeated. However, to do so turns your story into a poor sermon, and a badly biased one at that. Not only that, but the audience immediately begins to hate your characters, unless they are the brainwashed sort of readers who think that Dr. Manhattan was the hero of “Watchmen” or that being a hero when you are invulnerable and beloved by those around you means that you are “good” or have some sort of depth of character—as opposed to being a fascist with an old-fashioned set of principals that you impose on the world (any other Lex Luthor fans in the house?). Instead, you should seek to create characters that illustrate the complexities and flaws in everything, even and especially in your own moral code. You want to create real characters for your audience to believe in and empathize with. In practice, you should be able to name off three things that you genuinely admire your villains for, as well as three things you genuinely despise about your heroes—giving them flaws to overcome. And avoid the pseudo-flaws that plague literature (the hero who is just too kind for his own good, or the hero whose traumatic past had made her into a hardened bitch with a secret heart of gold). Doing this creates real characters that your audience can truly escape through and even learn genuine lessons from—making you, the writer, the real hero of the story.


Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature the answer in a later article.


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa…

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…

6 Steps to Compiling Your Novel's Three-Act Outline

Anybody Can Write a Novel

Chapter 2 “Creating a Plot” – Section 2 “Compiling a Three-Act Outline”

With Links to Supplementary Material

Part 1 of 2 (Link to Part 2)


Now that you have a Plot Premise, I'm sure that you have all kinds of ideas for the things you want to happen in your story—which you probably have written down in your Writing Journal. Well, today we are going to begin to organize those thoughts into groups and begin our Plot Outline by establishing a Three-Act Structure.


Step 1: Open a new word document entitled “Story Outline”

Now that we have so many pieces of your Outline ready to go, it is finally time (if you haven't done so already) to compile a Master Outline/Resource Booklet, by which you will be writing the entirety of your novel. The goal of this document is to make sure that you have as little down time, writing blocks, and aimless story wandering as possible.


Step 2: Write down your Plot Premise.

This is your thesis statement—it should be the first thing you look at every time you begin working on your story, so that you never forget the basic story that you wish to tell.


Step 3: Write down your Timeline.

This is the device that I use more than anything else when I am actually writing. Your Timeline will be what gives you the logic and basis by which your entire world runs.


Step 4: Add your World Maps and World Creation Sheets.

Along with the Timeline, these will be another resource that you will use as a basis for your protagonist's journey, and how they react/are reacted to by every landscape, people group, and environment in your created world.


Step 5: Use the Three-Act Outline Template and fill in the blanks.

You have probably noticed that everything up to now has been a recap and compilation of previous articles. The Three-Act Template is the real addition here. I've done some research, compiled plot structure ideas, looked at several different theories on the Three-Act system, and have created a fill-in-the-blank outline. Just open the above link, fill out the outline, and then save it to your Story Outline document.


Step 6: Be prepared for changes and adaptions as your writing progresses.

Remember that you will come across contradictions, plot-holes, and other complications as you actually begin to write your story. This is to be expected; the Outline only exists to guide you from one plot-point to another so that you can be sure that you have a complete story, are not writing aimlessly, and are less likely to encounter writer's block. Feel free to change, adapt, and play with your Outline as the need arises, or as you think of better ideas that will lead to a more dynamic story.


A concluding note: as I said earlier, we are using concrete structure for two reasons: to give you boundaries by which you can enhance your creativity, and to create a method by which anyone can write a novel. But, you should also know that a convention of writing is to break the rules and the structure. However, to break any rule efficiently and not seem like an amateur, you have to know the rule so that when you break it, the audience knows that it was done with artful intent. Therefore, I encourage you to write your first draft completely within the realm of plot structure, and then break, in your subsequent drafts, only structure that would lead to a better novel.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa… (Feel free to “Like” and subscribe)

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…

And: josephblakeparker.deviantart.c…

This is Part 1 of 2 (Link to Part 2) for the process of creating your story's Three-Act outline. Part 1 is kind of a recap, an attempt to tie all the articles so far together, and an introduction for the Outline Template (found in part 2). If you have been reading all the articles from the beginning, and are up-to-date, I recommend reading the intro and conclusion, and points 1, 5, and 6. Then, just click the link to the main article for the day (again, part 2). 
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She ran, her heart pumping and the crying babe in her arms growing heavier. The pain in her lower abdomen was like hot fire escaping all over her body. Her legs fought her desire to keep moving and she hugged her son tighter. She couldn’t stop now, not now. Gritting her teeth, she broke into a sprint. Limbs tore at her face and arms, their wicked thorns biting into her skin. Above her, the red moon shone brightly in the night, lighting the path ahead.


“Only a little farther, my son.” She panted into his silver hair.


He clung to her, his tiny fingers curling into the folds of her dress. His cry hurt her ears, but the pain was a pleasant reminder that he was still alive.


They’d meant to kill him, this alien child that had grown in her belly—her child. Regardless of his blood, she loved him. He was hers, her son. Instinctively, she adjusted her arms, wrapping them tighter around him, and kissed his forehead.


Abruptly, the path dipped low into a ravine. Swamp water splashed her thighs as she dove into the muck, her feet sinking into the silt. Balancing her son on her hip, she forced her way through the thickening foliage. Once on the other side, she hurried off into the trees, hoping the cover would give her enough time to lose her pursuers. She was so close.


The shadows enveloped her as she quickened her pace again, trying her best to ignore the mounting pain. Zev’s cries were becoming deafening. The louder they became, the easier she was to follow. She had to quieten him down. Holding his head close to hers, she began to sing in his ear. Her voice was uneven and short, but he responds nonetheless, his fingers curling into her wild hair and his head pressing into her.


“Yes, my son.” she panted into his ear. “I won’t let anyone harm you.”


Several minutes later, she arrived at a break in the trees and she stopped for the first time, her legs itching and throbbing. The pain was so bad she could barely keep her focus. Swallowing hard, she grabbed onto what concentration she had left and stepped forward into the open meadow. It was masked by an endless blanket of white flowers dyed pink in the nightlight. Running water whispered around her, cutting a curving path from one side of the meadow to the other. Beyond the mouth of the stream sat a small cottage. The one window revealed a flickering fire just beyond the animal hide curtain. She could see a moving shadow.


“Skelly,” she coughed dryly.


Her vision blurred and swayed as she lurched across the sharp rocks of the stream, alarming Zev and causing him to grip her neck tighter. Murmuring in his ear, she almost fell as she approached the door. Her upper body propelled forward despite her feet’s intention to stop. She collided none too gently, turning as she did to protect Zev, and her shoulder connected harshly with thick wood. She uttered a cry. Zev began to whimper softly and she tried to hush him.


Behind the door, there was a sound of shuffling feet. Then, brightness poured around a man silhouetted by firelight as it was open. Relief swelled her heart and she grinned deliriously at him. “Skelly!”


“Marali?” His dark eyes widened. “What are you…?” He paused, his gaze falling to the cooing child in her arms.


“Skelly. Please!” The desperation cracked her voice to pieces. “Help me.” Tears fell freely now, creating watery tracks down her cheeks amid the dust and grit.


He gazed back up at her, the shock and loathing evident. She had no one else. The knowledge of that tightened around her heart like a vice.


“What have you done?” He asked, completely at a loss.


“I am doing what I know is right.” She hissed through her teeth, the pain twisting her face.


He reached for her, but she shook her head and moved to hand him the child. He instantly recoiled. “No.”


“He’s my son! I want him to live!” Marali sobbed, the exhaustion finally catching up to her, and she almost fainted. He caught her, though she quickly pulled away and presented her son to him again. “I won’t let them hurt him! Please, Skelly. Please!”



Skelly looked between her and the child, bewildered. “Marali, he’s the son of the monster that…” His voice trailed away. He couldn’t say anymore. The hatred paralyzed his tongue and clamped his jaws.


“He’s my son.” She growled shakily. “Mine.”


Despite everything, he was hers. He wouldn’t be like his father; this she knew. Looking into his bright green eyes, she saw only her reflection peering back at her. You’re mine, she thought. You always will be.


Finally, Skelly nodded as if understanding, but his eyes were still frigid. “You should both come in—”


“No.” Marali interrupted. “You must keep him safe. They won’t suspect him here. I’ll come back at the next sunset to take him.”


Skelly took the child and glanced back at her worriedly. She looked so tired and frail. “Where will you go?”


“I will raise my son away from here.” She replied with a distant smile. “I will go deep into the woods, so no man might look upon him and desire to hurt him.”


“He is of their filthy blood.” Skelly averted his eyes from the child, revolted again. “You can’t keep him a secret forever. The world will want him dead the moment he is discovered.”


“His name is Zev.” She seemed to ignore him and reached out to caress the baby’s hair.


“Why did you disobey, Marali? Why did you let this child live? Look at you! You can barely stand!”


She looked up at Skelly, suddenly appearing beyond her years. “I don’t know. I just know that he has a good heart.”


Skelly’s scoffed, his voice taking on a razor edge. “How can you? He is a curse like the rest of his people.”


“No! My son is good.” She turned away, her shoulders trembling. “Why won’t you trust me, Skelly? You are the only person I can trust. Please, I’m begging you. Trust me.”


Reluctantly, he nods. “Alright. I trust you.”


Tears gathered in her eyes again and she hugged him tightly, her lips finding his. He returned her kiss desperately, his free hand cradling her face. As they part, Zev giggled, smiling for the first time. They both look at him in awe.


“Babies can’t smile like that so early.” He breathed.


Marali plants a tender kiss on Zev’s cheek and looks back to Skelly. “Please don’t judge him before you know his heart. You love me, do you not? My son is a part of me.”


Skelly attempts to speak, but she walks back out the door and turns one last time to him, the red moon creating a strange halo around her head. “That moon,” she points up to it. “That is his moon, Skelly. Don’t ever let him forget.”


For the first time he held Zev close, his dusky mustache tickling the child’s forehead. Her request sounded final. He didn’t like it. It was all over his face. Fear. There was no reasoning with her on this, though. She had made her decision. He gazes intently at her, helpless. “I won’t. You promise to come back.”


She smiled, but there was a brokenness hidden deep in her eyes. “I promise.”


With that, she disappeared into the darkness leaving Skelly with Zev, worn out from weeping and falling fast asleep in his arms.  She intended to come back. She’d fight to come back, but she already knew...
Original Fiction【Angels Fell First : Covenant】

Rating :
  PG-13/T
Pairing(s) / Character(s) : Skelly, Marali, & Zev
Word Count : approx. 1300

DO NOT POST ON TUMBLR FROM YOUR BLOG! REBLOG IT FROM MY OWN ART BLOG


So I have finally completed the prologue for my project, Angels Fell First. :D I will likely edit this in the future. This is mainly just a revised rough draft. LOL! By no means is it the final product. The preview image is of Zev and his love interest Amunet. What I tried to convey with this prologue is the danger Marali (pronounced Ma-ra-lie) is in for keeping her son alive. She keeps saying he is her son, because she feels that he shouldn't be punished for what his ancestors of his father's bloodline did in the past. Skelly is not only averse to keeping Zev for who his father was, but for what his father did to Marali. Zev was the product of rape. That's another reason I highlighted Marali's desire to keep him alive. She doesn't blame him for his father's wrongs to her, either, which plays a huge roll in Zev accepting who he is throughout the story. Below is a reference sheet for Zev for anyone that is curious. ^_^

Ref. Sheet : Zev by AngelicHellraiser


CHARACTER(S) BELONG TO AngelicHellraiser
ART BELONGS TO : melloskitten & Mizury
Deviation Buttons: Anti Theft by Metadream:iconthnxplz:Critique please by Metadream

(I have trouble with my hands and typing, so know that I'm very thankful for every fave and comment.)

Angels Fell First : Covenant :
OF Teaser : Angels Fell First : Covenant (CH1)
The red wolf moon—the color of the blood in our veins, only brighter.
That’s what Skelly had told him in his youth when he’d asked about the crescent blade in the sky. He’d said it while tipping his wide-brimmed hat and lifting the boy up into those wiry arms. His breath had been a smoky whisper. “That’s your moon, Zev. You’re mother told me that a long time ago.”
“Why papa?” Skelly preferred Zev to use his given name, but it always felt more natural to him this way. Father...
The old man studied him for a moment, that familiar scowl returning to his already weathered eyes. “Because you’re chosen, boy.”
“Chosen for what...?”

**********
Zev sprints down a shadowed alleyway, hoping the guards haven’t spotted him. His breath catches in his throat and he swallows dryly. Ahead of him, the alleyway dead ends. Oh no. His heart sinks.
Trapped.
He can’t go back the way he


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7 Considerations for World-building with Purpose

“Anybody Can Write a Novel”

Chapter 1 World-building – Section 1 Story Types

With Links to Supplementary Material


When crafting a novel, the first thing you need to know is what type of story you are writing. I'm sure that anybody reading this has a pretty good idea of what they want their story to be about. But for writing with strategic purpose, it is important to answer a few specific questions. Doing so will allow you to establish and purposefully design the foundations for your world, plot, the characters in your story. So grab some notebook paper, or copy this article into a word document, and write down all your answers to the following questions, as will best help you in designing your story.


Question 1: Are you writing a Comedy or a Tragedy?

This question comes first because all other story types fall within this question. And while there are many types and definitions of comedy and tragedy, it all basically comes down to one question: what happens to your hero in the end? Will they triumph or at least find a happy place to settle, or will the world and plot you have created crush or even kill them? Remember that both of these story types deal with the pains and struggles of life; it is just a matter of deciding who wins in the end.


Question 2: What are you trying to accomplish with your story?

Think about, and clearly define what you hope to accomplish with writing your story—how you want it to affect your reader. Whether you are trying to create hope, to instill anger that drives them to change the world, to entertain, to escape the drudgery of the real world, or anything else, make sure that you know why you are writing, and craft your story accordingly. Tragedy, for example, is more effective in urging your readers to action, while comedy can allow them to have hope in the future.


Question 3: Which of the Basic Story Types does your story fall into?

There are many theories as to how many types of story there are—ranging from one to as many as 36 or more. And it is not so important that you conform to an established “type” as much as that you are able to clearly define what your story does. Doing so establishes a goal for designing the plot of your story. For example: is your story about a quest, revenge, overcoming adversity, finding love, perusing forbidden love, survival, rescue, etc...


Question 4: What type of antagonist does your story require?

Perhaps the biggest factor in determining what type of story you are writing, is that which stands between your protagonist and his or her goals. Are they fighting nature, another person, their world, technology, magic, an ideal, a political movement, themselves, God/gods, or something else? Answering this question, and the question of your protagonist's goal, will indicate exactly what sort of story you are writing.


Questions 5: What is your story's genre?

There are countless genres and hybrids of genres that exist within the realm of literature. Like story type, it is not so important that you use an established genre—in fact, you should feel free to mix genres together if you wish—just as long as you know what you are writing and stay consistent. My mistake in my first novel was trying to cross too many genres as I thought the individual chapter required. I wanted to be scary in the beginning and funny at the end. But failing to keep your story uniform, waters down the atmosphere and undermines the power of your story.


Question 6: What is the intensity of your story?

With any genre, you have multiple intensities. Are you writing dark humor or light humor? Heavy sci-fi that anyone can read casually and enjoy, or heavy sci-fi which requires a certain amount of dedication and preference from your audience? Choosing the intensity will often be linked to whether you are writing Comedy or Tragedy, and will dictate what audience demographic will be interested in your work.


Question 7: Is your story of High Art or Low Art?

Before I explain this, let me just say that I hate the title for this classification system. High Art simply means that it applies to a more specific and exclusive audience demographic, whereas Low Art can be appreciated by a larger audience demographic. It has nothing to do with quality—Shakespeare's work, in fact, was Low Art at the time which it was written. This classification goes along with your story's intensity, to dictate how large the audience niche for your story will be. This question will help you to set the atmosphere of your story—and dictate whether your story should include specific political themes, inside jokes, and jargon, or whether you should use more universal themes, humor, and language that could be understood in multiple cultures and education levels.


I hope this article in my chapter on “World-building” is helpful in defining what kind of story you want to create. Next time, I will be focusing on the technical details of creating an actual world that your characters live in. Please let me know if you have any relevant questions on the topic of “World-building” or anything you would like me to address.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa… (Feel free to “Like” and subscribe)

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…


When crafting a novel, the first thing you need to know is what type of story you are writing. I'm sure that anybody reading this has a pretty good idea of what they want their story to be about. But for writing with strategic purpose, it is important to answer a few specific questions. Doing so will allow you to establish and purposefully design the foundations for your world, plot, the characters in your story. So grab some notebook paper, or copy this article into a word document, and write down all your answers to the following questions, as will best help you in designing your story.  

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6 Steps to Making Every Chapter of your Novel Most Excellent


The number one reason for people refusing to read a book is boredom. And no matter how much good content can be found if one just “sticks it out,” it will never be found if your readers have to drudge through even a single boring chapter. So, for both writing and post-draft editing, here are 6 steps to making EVERY chapter most excellent.


Step 1: Create a three-act plot structure for each chapter.

Every chapter of a novel should be a short story in and of itself—almost like a comic book or television drama. Now, it is not essential that the three-act plot structure be done perfectly, but every chapter should have the hero encountering a problem, growing from that experience, and a climax where the hero overcomes or is overcome by the problem. Doing this will make sure that every chapter is vital to the story and that something is always happening.


Step 2: Make every chapter opening a hook.

The hook might be the single most important guide to getting a reader to not put down your book. All too often, I read the first line of a book or chapter, and am immediately met with boring dialogue or exposition. Make your most interesting and striking impression the very first line of the chapter, and you will ensure that the reader feels compelled to continue.


Step 3: Make sure you can name the objective of that chapter in one sentence.

This rule goes along with the idea that each chapter should be purposeful. The way I do this is that I caption each chapter with the major plot point I covered. This gives me a goal to accomplish—fulfilling that plot point—and ensures that every chapter moves the story along.


Step 4: Analyze it against other chapters and ask yourself if the story would lose anything if you cut it.

When you have finished a draft of your novel, go through each chapter and imagine cutting it completely. Would the story still make sense? Would it lose anything? If your answer is that the story would be in the same place as if the chapter were not there, then cut it and store it away as research. Remember, there is no such thing as wasted writing, but there are some chapters that should not be in the final draft. Perhaps that one only existed for you, the author, to figure some things out about your characters and the plot.


Step 5: End on a cliffhanger.

After concluding the basic plot of your chapter (all three acts) present a new situation and end on a cliffhanger. This is the secret to creating a “page-turner” novel, as opposed to one that a reader can simply put back on the shelf after finishing each chapter. In addition, this will give you, the writer, a good starting place for when you begin writing the next chapter. You already have a problem to deal with, and you do not have to waste time twiddling your thumbs and looking at a blank document, waiting for inspiration for what will happen next.


Step 6: After finishing a chapter, take note as to the status and changes in your characters.

Taking note as to the status of your characters does a few things to help your story along. First, it helps you to keep track of where your characters are, physically—as nothing is more annoying than writing four or five chapters and realizing that you left a minor character in the woods, or them having said nothing for that entire time. Second, taking these notes will ensure that your characters are changing and shifting with the story, creating a truly dynamic experience for the reader.


Following these guidelines will ensure that your readers have a most excellent experience, and that each chapter pulls them into your story even deeper.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article.


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa…

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…


6 Steps to making every chapter of your novel purposeful and engaging. 
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6 Steps to Compiling Your Novel's Three-Act Outline

Anybody Can Write a Novel

Chapter 2 “Creating a Plot” – Section 2 “Compiling a Three-Act Outline”

With Links to Supplementary Material

Part 2 of 2


Joseph Blake Parker's Very Original and Super Complex Three-Act Outline Template


(Not really—this is all standard and basic stuff with no original thought other than my self-indulgent title, and the explanations. I honestly only made this because I couldn't find one online to share with you peeps, and didn't want to mess up the structure of my article by adding it there. Obsessive Compulsive Personality moment, I guess. Please keep in mind that there are many theories as to a proper Three-Act Structure; this one is just a hybrid of all the things I thought most comprehensive.)



Instructions: Delete all the explanations that are written in italics and replace them with the events/plot-points that occur within your story.



----- Plot Premise Goes Here -----



Act I (Setting up the Story)


Beginning (Prologue)

-Reveal your world, your story type, your protagonist, and what things were like right before the Inciting Incident, where the story started.


Inciting Incident

-This is what happens so that your Protagonist's world is forever changed, so that they must decide to act.


First Turning Point (Call to Action)

-This is an event that is even more life-changing (but related to) than the Inciting Incident, as is what causes the protagonist must decide how they are going to react to the Inciting Incident.


Act II (Confronting the Antagonists—feel free to sprinkle fights and confrontations all through this Act)


Rising Action

-Your protagonist tries to achieve his/her goal, but is not skilled or capable enough to do so. Fails, but grows from failure, and begins to seek help or to strengthen him/herself. Things begin to gradually get better/worse, depending upon what sort of story you are telling, and upon the natural consequences of the protagonist's actions.


First Pinch Point/Main Confrontation

-Half-way through Act II, the main antagonist will do something very dark or critical, forcing the protagonist to react. This is the main confrontation. For example, telling the hero that if they do not give up, they will blow up the city. This is to show your readers the power set against the protagonist.


Midpoint

-The protagonist reacts to the first pinch point, and confronts the antagonist. The protagonist fails.


Disaster

-The hero deals with the consequences of failure.


Second Pinch Point

-The power of the antagonist is shown again—causing the hero to feel forced to action, even as they deal with their previous failure and its consequences.


Crisis/Second Turning Point

-The protagonist has a new or renewed Call to Action. They realize that even with everything that has happened, they must act.


Act III (Resolution)


Stand up

-the protagonist again rises to the challenge, with a renewed sense of self and self-discovery.


Climax

-the protagonist overcomes or is overcome by the antagonist, and the story is concluded.


Wrap-up/Epilogue

-Just like the Beginning/Prologue, establish how your world and characters are changed by the events of the story. What is considered the norm after the story concludes?





Acknowledgments:


While the explanations and final list are of my original writing, as was the idea to create a Three-Act Outline Template, the data was inspired, taught, and defined by the following sources. I highly recommend further learning on the topic from their websites.


WikipediaThree-act structure”



Janice HardyHow to Plot With the Three-Act Structure”



Kimberley MagainApplying Negative Space to Storytelling (fiction)”



Larry Brooks The Help” – Isolating and Understanding the First “Pinch Point”



Karen WoodwardUsing Pinch Points To Increase Narrative Drive”




Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa… (Feel free to “Like” and subscribe)

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…

And: josephblakeparker.deviantart.c…

Instructions: Delete all the explanations that are written in italics and replace them with the events/plot-points that occur within your story.  

Please keep in mind that there are many theories as to a proper Three-Act Structure; this one is just a hybrid of all the things I thought most comprehensive

Links to Supplementary Learning Material at the end of the page. 

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7 Steps for Ridding Your Story of Melodrama


Melodrama, strictly defined, means a “song drama,” of the French tradition. The tradition of this story was characterized by over-the-top emotions, to the point that the character's emotions were unintentionally funny, or ridiculous. Melodrama in modern literature, is a term used for when the emotions of your characters are absurd, petty, beyond control, and seem to overshadow the story; and today I'm going to talk about overcoming the melodrama in your story. Please note that this is something to be considered in the editing process, not in the first draft. There will be melodrama—but don't worry about it until you have a whole story down on paper or digital ink.


Step 1: Identify the melodrama in your story.

If you have written a first draft with a good number of characters with different wants and desires, there WILL be melodrama. And so your first step will go to every scene where there are emotional flares—of love, inspiration, anger, sadness, and disagreement. Then, mark them and collect them into a compilation of scenes with similar editing requirements—using the following steps as a checklist for each one.


Step 2: Read the scene aloud, and imagine it happening in real life.

If you have any friend who will help you read parts, it will be especially helpful here. The goal of reading each of these scenes, like a script, is to imagine two (or however many) real people walking the streets and then suddenly engaging in this dialogue. If you can get an audience, even better. If not, record yourself with a phone, audio device, or camera, and then watch it several times over several weeks.


Step 3: Note if you would feel embarrassed to use your dialogue in real life.

When you publish a story, you are putting it before the worst of bullies, mockers, and critics to tear your work apart publicly. Get the jump on them by putting yourself in the shoes of these people. How would YOU make fun of how corny and unrealistic your dialogue is? Then adapt it until it gets to the point that you and your audience could imagine yourselves impressed if you heard it randomly in the street. Remember that dramatic speeches and conversations certainly happen—but ONLY when situations demand nothing less.


Step 4: Check yourself to make sure that you are not speaking through your characters.

Often, scenes of melodrama come from rants or passionate speeches that we have built up within us, and feel that we need to shout it at the world. However, your audience will detect this change of voice, and so must you. Go through each scene and check to see if any of them trigger emotions from your own past—unrelated to the story. If they do, circle them or highlight them for careful editing. You won't necessarily need to cut it, but you need to know that it is a danger zone.


Step 5: Temper extreme emotions with ambivalence.

Humans are complex creatures, and only very rarely do we feel extremely polar emotions like utter hatred or unconditional love. Therefore, there is little to justify this in your characters, short of mental illness and obsession. Find all of the extreme emotions, and reconsider how you could make them more complex ones. Love should be mixed with emotions like fear, or disappointment—hate mixed with secret jealousies, love, or even a sort of comradery with those who are respectable enough to merit hate.


Step 6: Embrace the expected emotions of a situation.

Go through every scene and imagine what a normal person would do, feel, or say in that situation. Of course, this will not normally be what a hero or antihero might do or say, but you must imagine what natural emotions and feelings every scene would produce. A scene where one's life is in peril may produce courage, but only after you deal with the initial, and continued emotion of fear. Make sure that every scene of potential melodrama contains the mixed sort of emotions that each of us would feel in that given situation.


Step 7: Remember that your characters must be flawed in order to be relatable to your audience.

The last step in removing melodrama, is to remove perfection. Although one-liners and perfect speeches may be fun, and they may be what we wish we could do in an ideal world, rarely is it the case in real life. Real characters rarely know how to put their thoughts and emotions into words. They know that inspirational speeches often feel hollow, or the speech comes from a scared and shaky voice that is trying hard to believe itself as well. When real people speak, they deal with self-doubt, fear, stuttering, and obsession—all which make their words less perfect. But this imperfection will be what makes your characters come to life. Embrace them, and remember that sometimes the perfect words, emotions, and actions fall very short of the flawed ones that can take your story so much further.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa…

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…


Melodrama in modern literature, is a term used for when the emotions of your characters are absurd, petty, beyond control, and seem to overshadow the story; and today I'm going to talk about overcoming the melodrama in your story. Please note that this is something to be considered in the editing process, not in the first draft. There will be melodrama—but don't worry about it until you have a whole story down on paper or digital ink.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!


Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa…

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…


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History of Atlantis

In the year 350,000 B.C., refugee scientists from Mars landed on Earth as their world was already begin to die. They landed on a small island
that was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. When they had landed, they began to build a base and a small city so they could recreate their
civilization. By there on Earth, they realized that they need a slave race to help with buildings of cities and the mining of metals and minerals.
A team of the Martian scientists flew to the continent of Africa to find indigineous people to be this slave race of theirs, but the only race of people
at the time were Homo Erectus. The scientists captured a few hundred of these natives and thus began to experiment on them, and with these experiments came
a new race of men, called Homo Atlantea. Over the years, this new race saw their creators as gods, and some of the scientists would interbreed with
the new of race of humanity and were also worshipped as demigods. 310,000 years had passed, and all full blooded Martians had died. Those of Homo Atlantea who had
Martian DNA became Kings of this new island, and called it Atlantis after what the Martians called them. While the rest of the world was still in the stone age, the
Atlanteans were already in an Iron Age, creating metal weapons and were already began to develop agriculture. The scientist's offices and living quarters had become
temples dedicated to them. To the Atlanteans, the genesplicing and other scientific advances in DNA was considered sorcery since it created creatures that would be known
in mythology, such as the Minotaur, the harpy, and the centaur. The people of Atlantis went out to the world and brought back animals such as the Mammoth,the sabertooth, and
other prehistoric creatures, which they used for agriculture or gladiator battles for entertainment, with the Mammoth being used for plowing fields for crops and for food, while
the sabretooth was used in gladitorial fights against captured criminals or the mutant science experiments. The government of Atlantis would be considered communist as the leaders
believed in sharing the food and wealth amongst the citizens of their kingdoms, since each was split into 7 with the eldest son of each royal family as leader. The kings then decided to
go out into the world and create colonies. Some of these colonies went to such places as North America, Africa, South America, and the Middle East.  9,000 Years later though, the morality
of Atlantis had fallen with the kings now beginning to become corrupt and stealing the wealth from the poor. It was then Atlantis become a country similiar to the Third Reich and believing
the citizens of Atlantis were the chosen race and the people were gullible enough to believe them. Soon, the entire Atlantean army was sent out to attack other races and tribes. Such of these
were rival countries as Mu and Lemuria, who had similiar origins to Atlantis. These wars devastated many until 11,260 A.D. when a large earthquake had sunken the the island empire in the
Atlantic and caused the disaster in the Middle East that will be known in the Abrahamic faiths as the Great Flood. There was a prince of Atlantis who survived that flood and will be known
to the Babylonians as Utnapishtim and Noah to the Hebrews. The survivors of Atlantis went to many other parts of the world and created civilizations such as Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Aztecs,
and the Celts. This how Atlanteans rose and fell, like all civilizations will one day
This is the my version of the History of Atlantis, which is suppose to give an idea of how they were much more advance than any other prehistoric people. I just hope Domain-Of-Darwin accepts this. I also added the Ancient Astronaut theory since some UFO-ologists believe gods were alien visitors
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'Myth Wars': Episode 53: "Beast Wars Rekindled: Part 1: Back to Earth":</u>


"OOOH! We're finally goin' back to Cybertron!" Rattrap throws his arms up in the air in celebration, "I can hear the dames whistling for me already!"

Optimus Primal, clad in his recently acquired 4-mode optimal form, strolls up to the front of the escape pod where Rhinox is intensely concentrated on piloting the shaky ship.

"Well, Rhinox, have you spotted them yet?" he asks. Rhinox turns to him and shakes his head, "Not yet...you know it is possible that they all made planet fall..." Optimus rubs his chin, "Possible; but unlikely."

He stares out into the vast blankness of space, and smiles. "I know somewhere out there our comrades are waiting for us..." He suddenly turns to Rattrap who's conveniently reclined in an onboard chair, "...and then we'll be on our way home."

"Aw, fer bootin' up cold! Ya mean after all that we've been through on that dirt ball back there; we still ain't goin' back to Cybertron?" Rattrap rises from the over sized chair designed for Autobots and walks up to the giant gorilla leader. Optimus merely peers down at him in disapproval, but knows how badly Rattrap misses Cybertron; and therefore says nothing.

"Well I for one want to rescue my fellow bots!" A voice echoes through the ship as Cheetor appears from a hallway and into the main room.

All eyes turn to him, even Rhinox for a brief moment. As Rhinox turns back around, Optimus nods at Cheetor in approval. "I can't go back to Cybertron with my crew still orbiting Earth..." Primal begins, "...no matter how long it takes, we will rescue them all!"

Rattrap raises an eyebrow upon hearing this, and sighs, "I guess the dames can wait just a tad longer...heh."

He sees Rhinox nod as he pilots the ship to the left with the gigantic controls. "I just wish I were bigger..." Rhinox states as he steers the ship with great difficulty towards a blip on his screen.

"Optimus Primal...Maximize!" the giant gorilla bellows and transforms into his massive robot mode. He casually strides over to an empty chair and has a seat. He laughs a little as he reclines, "I don't know what you're complaining about Rattrap; these chairs fit me just fine." Rattrap gives a quick sarcastic laugh in response, "That's because you've got a big fat gorilla as..."

"EVERYONE! LOOK!" Rattrap gets cut off as Rhinox points out the windshield; "Do you see it?" Primal rises and walks up to the controls and leans on them as he peers out the window. "Is that...?" he asks as Cheetor and Rattrap join him at his side.

Outside, they see a dark shape floating about 1000 yards ahead of them. Even with hardly any light; they could all tell what it was: a stasis pod.

"Told ya!" Cheetor mocks Rattrap, and Rattrap dismisses him with his hands, "Eh, spoil my fun why don't cha?"

Just then they hear footsteps behind them and turn to see Blackarachnia and Silverbolt walk into the room together. "Where have you two been?" Primal asks them, crossing his arms. "Don't ask..." Silverbolt quickly kills the conversation as he and Blackarachnia take seats.

"Oh...so the two love boy-ids decided to get romantic, mm?" Rattrap questions as he waves his fingers at them. "I said 'don't ASK!' " Silverbolt states again, and growls at Rattrap. "Easy Bowser, he didn't mean anything by it..." Blackarachnia coos, and rubs Silverbolt's chin with her finger, "...besides, you know it's true." Silverbolt 'rolls' his optics and sighs, "Yes dear."

"If you three are done arguing..." Rhinox begins as he points at the stasis pod again, "...we've got to retrieve that thing." "I think you mean those things..." Primal states, drawing Rhinox's gaze back out the window.

"Wow, that must be all of them..." Cheetor's mouth hangs open as they all stare as more and more stasis pods come into view, each becoming more lit against the blackness of space as it comes closer to the ship. “At least all the ones that didn’t make planet fall…” He turns to Optimus quickly, “…It looks like you were right.” Optimus silently nods.

"But that still leaves the problem of who's going to get them?" Rhinox announces. Everyone exchanges glances at each, everyone except Primal.

"I'll go." He boldly states as he walks towards the back of the ship, past the cabins located near the midsection. "WHAT! You can't go out there..." Rhinox begins. "Huh, better him than me..." Rattrap adds.

Optimus turns back to them as he stands at the rear hatch. "I have to go Rhinox...I must. I'm the only one with flight capabilities; at least in space; and therefore it has to be me. Besides, if Megatron tries anything; I'm the only one strong enough to stop him and clamp him back to the hull." Primal states with a sudden smile, "But don't worry, I'll be fine."

They nod at him in agreement, all except Rhinox who shakes his head in regret. Primal takes notice of this, but hides his fears and opens the airlock door.

As the door closes behind him, he watches as the others stare at him until they can be seen no more from the door. It slams shut, and Primal sighs. "Here goes nothing..." He takes a deep breath (for no real reason at all), and holds it.

With a leaking sound, the pressure from the airlock is dropped and the outside doors open. Primal steps out into space, and floats around for a moment before grabbing his bearings and transforms into his jet mode. He rockets out around the side of the ship and patches a channel through to Rhinox.

"Rhinox, can you hear me?" He asks. "Loud and clear...good to hear I might add." Rhinox smiles as he sees Primal float past the side window. "Sometime you worry to much..." Primal laughs and rockets towards the first stasis pod.

"Rhinox, can you maneuver the ship so the rear faces me? I need to load these into the airlock." Primal asks as he latches himself on top of the stasis pod. "Sure Optimus; just give me a nano-click." Rhinox replies as he activates the thrusters and begins to rotate the ship around slowly.

Just then Primal hears a voice. "Just what do you think you're doing Primal?" the voice roars, and Primal looks at the top of the shuttle. "That's none of your business Megatron." he states as he pulls the stasis pod towards the airlock entrance.

Megatron shifts around a little as he tries to break free from his bonds, but settles back after a few seconds, "You're a fool Primal. You actually think your Maximals want me back on Cybertron? Or even you for that matter?" "That's my call..." Optimus stops just outside the entrance, "...and I say they'll be glad to get you back. I bet they have a specially made cell just for you..." Primal transforms into robot mode, and presses the button to unlock the door. Megatron laughs, "Flattery will get you nowhere Optimus, yessss...enjoy this moment while you can."

Optimus sneers upon hearing this, but maintains focus and puts the first pod into the ship. He uses his foot rockets and takes off towards the next pod. "Come on Primal; I know you can hear me...don't you think it gets lonely out here..." Megatron begins with suave in his voice, "...Take me inside and lock me up in there." "No chance Megatron...I like you just where you are!" Primal squints and makes a face at Megatron as he grabs the next pod.

Grunting and groaning, he pulls the rather heavy pod towards the door. As it finally moves in the direction he wants, Primal lets up and lets it float towards the door, only floating along with it to stop it at the entrance.

Megatron moves his head to look at Primal, but can't see him due to his position and the considerable height he is above Primal's position. "At least tell me what you're doing..." Megatron almost sounds like he's pleading, but keeps that certain level of proudness and smirks at his own words; hoping to extract information out of Optimus. Primal looks up at Megatron for only a brief moment, "Don't you ever shut up?"

Several minutes pass, and soon Primal finishes loading in the last pod inside the ship. "Great! That's the last pod!" Primal announces and dusts off his hands as a sign that he's done. "Oh, so that's what it is..." Megatron begins. "You were quiet for a few clicks there; what happened?" Primal laughs as he stands at the entrance to the door. Megatron ignores him, "...those were my protoforms!" "I'd love to stay and chat Megatron, but Cybertron, and your prison cell, await!" Primal proclaims and slams the door shut behind him.

"We shall see Primal...you haven't won yet!" Megatron announces to the vast blackness of space, staring at it as he lays spread-eagle on the hull.

Inside, Primal enters the main room again after the airlock pressurizes, and everyone smiles at him. "Good to see ya Big Bot!" Cheetor gives Optimus the thumbs up. "And to see our comrades again." Rhinox adds, pointing at the stacks of stasis pods behind Optimus.

"So, we're finally going to Cybertron then!" Rattrap asks impatiently. Optimus gives a deep belly laugh, "Yes, Rattrap, we're finally going home."

Everyone starts dancing and rejoicing; and Rhinox watches them celebrate and smiles. He turns around and sits back at the controls, "O.K. everyone, strap yourselves in; I'm taking this bird back to Cybertron!" Rhinox proclaims as he presses a few buttons and pulls a few levers. "You got it big guy!" Rattrap gives him the thumbs up and jumps into his chair. The others follow suit, and everyone buckles in for the trip home.

"Commencing engine thrust...activating hyper-drive..." Rhinox states as he presses a button. Suddenly a giant explosion from the rear rocks the whole ship, and everyone looks around in panic.

"What was that?" Cheetor yells, grabbing the arms of the chair in fear. "Sounds like we lost our engines!" Primal announces as he begins to unbuckle himself. “The ship’s diagnostics have been knocked offline…” Rhinox shouts as he whips around in the control chair.

“I’ll be right back.” Optimus shouts and rises from the chair. "No Optimus! I'll check it out." Rhinox states and holds up his hand to signal Optimus to stop. Primal looks at him, and sits back down. He straps himself back in and nods at Rhinox, "Check it out, but hurry."

Rhinox stomps towards the back of the ship when the ship begins to move under his feet, causing him to fall. "RHINOX!" Cheetor calls out as turns in his seat to see Rhinox lying unconscious on the ground. "We're all gonna DIE!" Rattrap yells, covering his optics in fear. "SHUT UP RATTRAP!" Optimus yells as he unstraps himself and rushes towards Rhinox.

Just then, then ship begins to spin out of control, throwing Optimus across the cabin and slamming him into the pilot's chair. He slumps down onto the ground, and lies there for a moment before the momentum of the ship's spinning lifts him off of the ground and throws him against the other wall. Cheetor ducks as Rhinox flies over him and smashes into the rear of the ship.

But just as the spinning started, it stops as the ship's windshield begins to heat up, and glows bright red with fire. "NO!" Rattrap screams as he looks in horror upon the sight before his optics, "We're going back down!" "Stay close dear..." Silverbolt heroically states as he pulls Blackarachnia close to him as they sit next to each other, strapped in.

Outside, Megatron's body begins to burn as he reenters the atmosphere attached to the ship. "ARRRGGGHHH!" He bellows in pain as he struggles to break free of both the ship and the heat.

Suddenly, his right arm snaps free of his bonds, and he reaches over and breaks the bond on his other arm. "I...must...break...freeeee!" He proclaims as he grinds his teeth from the intense pain. He manages to break the final bonds that hold him, and as he does, he flies off the ship like a bullet and floats away high above the ship...

Meanwhile, back inside, Optimus Primal and Rhinox's bodies are pinned by the centripetal forces against the rear wall of the shuttle. Everyone screams as they watch the ground get closer and closer...

But on Earth, others watch them return as well...

"What?" Waspinator asks as he watches the ship plummets towards Earth, "Max-zimals come back?" The early anthropoids jump about in confusion and wonder as they watch along with Waspinator.

Not far away, in some bushes, a pair of eyes watch Waspinator, and the Autobot shuttle hurdling uncontrollably towards Earth with happiness. "Hmm, so my prey returns..." the spider-esque voice cackles, "...How lovely!" and his evil laugh fills the air...
This is the first part of the opening 5-parter of Myth Wars!! This starts right off after the end of the Transformers: Beast Wars T.V. series; with Primal and his crew leaving Earth in the Autobot shuttle.

Myth Wars is a series spanning the missing events between Beast Wars and Beast Machines; and features both new characters and old favorites!

Based upon the characters created by ShinMusashi44, TGping, AcidWing, Gryphman, Mako Crab, BillyBadAss; and of course myself. Story created and written by me.

Characters are copyright of Hasbro; and each of the above; myself included.
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Melinda is rushing around the house after hearing the news of her husband John's capture by the mysterious Cerveau.  She goes into a drawer and pulls out and earpiece, pushes a button, and inserts it into her right ear.  She runs upstairs to the spare bedroom and opens the closet.

"Tara, cancel the rally.  I'm in a no-win situation.  Even if I drop out of the race, John's still in danger and I'm not going to give that smug bastard the satisfaction that he had a hand in the outcome of this election."

She takes off her sweater and grabs the familiar blue garb hanging inside.  She quickly disrobes and pulls on the skin-tight oufit.

"I've been in contact with John's superior and I found out the last time he contacted headquarters and where the next stop on his patrol was.  He had to have been taken between those two points and I'd imagine he wasn't taken too far when he was abducted.  They have officers combing the area as we speak but I'm going to go directly to the source to find him, and I know where Black Ball is heading."

Mindy straightens her cape and pulls on the long gloves over her toned arms.

"What should you tell the crowd?  Tell them I'm going to take the power back."

Mindy steps out onto the deck and leaps into the sky.
Mindy's response to: [link]

Somebody messed with the wrong redhead...


A continuation of the story by :iconwar-patriot:


Artwork by :iconartgk: and colors by :iconsean-loco-odonnell:

Black Ball and Cerveau are property of :iconwar-patriot:

Mindy Marvel and John Crane are property of :iconbrad328:


This election sure has gotten crazy this past week in :iconangel-fallsda:
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