This week is about learning how to use story turns to delight and engage your readers.
Your goals are to:
- See and feel story turns in action
- Memorize story turn concepts
- Continue to write, meeting the time or word goals you have in your plan
- Turn in your first 4,000 words for feedback
Discovery Questions & Activities
Question: What is a story turn and what do they do to the reader? (2 hrs)
First, watch the bootleg video on story turns. As you do, answer the main question above. Write your answer in the comments.
Next, read Follett’s bit on story turns in his Master Class, then write your answers these questions in the comments:
- He says a story turn changes what? Please give an example.
- How often does he suggest a story should turn?
- Are his definition and mine different?
Now go back to the passages we read last week plus the new one by Dean Koontz and mark every story turn you see.
- This excerpt of by James Patterson, the first chapter of the prologue.
- The first two tabs of the excerpt for by Bernard Cornwell.
- Now read this excerpt of The Good Guy by Dean Koontz.
How often did each story turn on average? What did each of the three stories have in common with the types and ways they used turns? What did they do differently? Be ready to share your answers in our meeting 🙂
Write (8 hrs)
Continue writing your novel. You should have created a plan last week with goals that are based on target word-counts or hours drafting. Make the time to meet your goals.
Attend meeting and share findings (45 min)
I will set this up so we can share what we found in the reading passages.
Turn in the first 4,000 words of your novel in for 3 grunt feedback
At the end of the week, email the first 4,000 words of your novel to me and the other four people in this group for 3 grunt feedback. Reading and marking will be part of your learning activity for the last week (not this week). We will end that week with a 90-minute meeting where each of us reports our experience.
Optional study (1-5 hrs)
Do NOT take time away from the activities above to do either of these activities. The most important thing you can do is write. But if you can make extra time, there’s some great learning to be had.
- Read chapters 6 and 8-9 of Writing and Selling Your Novel by Jack Bickham. Write in the comments 3 insights about story turns you picked up from the reading.
- Read the first 3 chapters of two of your exemplar novels, identify the minor and major story turns, and calculate how often those books turned in those chapters.