Monday, April 6, 2015
Energetic Markers Are The Key To A Great Story
I’m skipping right to E as I’ve failed miserably with B-D.
I know that is the point of the whole A-Z challenge, but I haven’t felt like blogging about my life and I tend to want to write about what’s going on with me.
Someone I was close with a long time ago died this week. My first thought beyond shock and sadness was should I write about this for “D” – death? The thing is I don’t want to. Not today. Maybe not ever. So I’m going to take a step back from emotional dumping and write about writing.
I want to give credit here to Plot Whisperer, Martha Anderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran for their great advice and formula for breaking down any story using Energetic Markers. You can find their PlotWriMo videos at http://apathtopublishing.com
Seriously, their method teaches you how to dissect a story in such a way that you can easily see why some stories succeed while others fail. I can analyze any genre, any vehicle; book, movie, or play, it doesn’t matter. If the Energetic Markers don’t play out, the story doesn’t work – it’s that simple.
Below is a very brief introduction to their method, but since it’s not my idea you’ll have to go to their websites for more information.
At the first ¼ of the story the character enters a whole new world – they may do it physically like move to another state, or emotionally, perhaps someone dies – but something major has changed in their world and from here on in it’s all new territory.
At the second quarter of the story the protagonist recommits to whatever their goal is after entering their new world or reality. Whether it be saving the universe, getting the girl or robbing the bank – they are in for the long haul.
The third quarter of the story is the crisis – everything that can go wrong will and has gone wrong. The protagonist is in the dumps–their world is about to implode, the girl has found someone else, the bank is on to them – they are at their lowest point.
EM # 4
The fourth quarter is the climax – maybe they can’t save the world but they can save the human race, or the girl they’ve been pining after comes to her senses, or maybe they don’t need to rob the bank because they realize what they really want is a job in law enforcement catching criminals like themselves after all.
I know my examples are ridiculous and much better explained by Martha and Jill so check out their sites like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKthkVeu7B4 and let me know what you think!