Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today, I'll be continuing my review of the webinar, How to Plot and Structure Your Novel by Cheryl Klein.  Let's talk about the ten Basic Principles of novel writing.

1) Write your story: First drafts are just that. Let the words fly!
2.) On your second draft, tighten up the plot by focusing on your points. Learn about points here.
3.) Identify plot points by changes: Does a change of some kind happen in the course of your book?
4.) The change should happen to the protagonist.
5.) Action Plot & Emotional Plot (more on that tomorrow)
6.) When the change happens, it is the start of the emotional plot.
7.) Plot ends when the change is over or points have been achieved.
8.) When you reach the climax, the book should end within three chapters.
9.) Entertainment comes from the Action  Plot, Meaning comes from the Emotional Plot.
10.) Plot matters only if readers are interested in the character(s) involved.


  1. Great post, very clearly explained. Cheers.

    Moody Writing

  2. Yes! You have it here. Writing must begin with a quick first draft followed by critical review. However, many writers make the problem of reviewing intermittently as they type out that first draft. It has to be done at distinct times set aside for writing the draft separated by a time dedicated to review as this article points out: http://writingbasics.com/2013/04/09/getting-discouraged-when-writing-dont-give-up/.

    Your point #4 is an excellent one in that change MUST happen. However (this point comes from the book "Story" taken from McKee) in the book he states that "changes" can occur within scenes. Now the book is for screenplays but I've adopted it for the novel and it has been working well.

    Great post - thanks!