Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Monday, July 25, 2011

PLOTTING YOUR NOVEL DAY 1: WHAT ARE YOUR POINTS?

This week, I will be devoting my blogs to a wonderful webinar I attended by Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine books.  You might recognize the name.  She's the senior editor at AALB (an imprint of Scholastic Books) and was a continuing editor for the last three Harry Potter Books, among many others. She's been featured in Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly for her work on the Harry Potter series. She specializes in Children's and Young Adult Literature.

Today, let's talk about points.  Ms. Klein says every decision you make as a writer should ultimately be in service of the novel's points. There are three points: The Emotional Point, The Thematic Point, and The Experiential Point.

The Emotional Point: What is the key emotional transformation of your protagonist?

The Thematic Point: What is your protagonist learning?  What question is your protagonist/novel asking?

The Experiential Point: What emotional journey do you want your READER to take?

As you start to revise or begin a new draft, ask yourself these three questions first.  Make them very clear in your mind. 

REVISION QUESTIONS: What is your emotional point? What is your thematic point? What is your experiential point?

To help her authors with these points, Ms. Klein asks them to write an intention letter answering these questions:

1. What do you want to do with the book? or What do you want the book to do?
2. What is the story, briefly?
3. What is the book about?
4. What do you love in the book?
5. What do you suspect (or know) needs work?

You can find more information regarding these points in Ms. Klein's book: Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults. or by visiting her blog at http://chavelaque.blogspot.com/ or website at http://cherylklein.com/

Stay tuned tomorrow for PLOTTING YOUR NOVEL  DAY 2: BASIC PRINCIPLES

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