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Questions for writers in this group....


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Hi, I am looking for a specific sort of writing book: one that would guide you as to how many scenes approx you need per character. Of course I can go through the books I am reading and do that but don't want to ruin reading for myself 😉 I just finished Story Genius by Lisa Cron and it was helpful but I am looking for something more to the structure, if that makes any sense at all. Many thanks

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Hey, I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for or not, but I am right now reading a book called The Scene Book by Sandra Scofield. I am only two chapters in so I can’t give a hearty recommendation or disrecommendation, but I sought out this book for almost the same exact question as you posed. For me the question was more like, What makes a scene a scene? How do I know when this scene is over? How do I know when this chapter is over? Maybe that will help you, too. 

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Masterclass has 13 different writers, including Shonda Rhimes, James Patterson, Judy Blume, Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, teaching how to write. Looks like it's $15 per month but don't know how long it takes to get through their courses. 

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Save the Cat Writes a Novel explains how to structure different stories. I would say it is more focused on plot than character but should be helpful.

Edited by melbotoast
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In all the writing books I have read, I haven't come across any that say you have to have so many scenes per character.  There aren't any rules when it comes to the number of scenes.   It's basically how ever many scenes it takes for the character to tell the story.  Each scene should move the plot forward.   You may want to look at structure and there are so many books. You may want to look at K.M. Weiland's Structuring your Novel and workbook,  or James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure which I found helpful. 

Edited by Robin M
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48 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

YES ! I am also using Story Genius by Lisa Cron because the writing bug has bitten me too. 😊

I got that book from this list

https://medium.com/@shauntagrimes/10-books-that-will-make-you-a-better-writer-and-why-86d2fa665df0

Hope one of this helps.

Actually my writing mentor/teacher/i-don't-know-what who teaches writing for a living recommended this book. I do not fully buy in everything in it but there is enough that's helpful. 

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Story Genius is in my current stack, I haven’t gotten to it yet. 
 

OP, I have never seen anything written, or anything shared by my instructors, that stipulates (in a mathematical way) how many scenes each character should be in. Generally speaking, enough to move the plot forward, and not so much for minor characters that the reader gets confused about who the main characters actually are. 

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3 hours ago, Seasider too said:

OP what genre are you writing? I have a suggestion for you but its effectiveness may vary by genre. 

one is literary fiction, one is a middle grades fiction...thing. (part fictionalized travel memoir, part art history, illustrated and such. It's odd). My question relates more to the adult novel, the middle grades project is done. 

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22 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

YES ! I am also using Story Genius by Lisa Cron because the writing bug has bitten me too. 😊

I got that book from this list

https://medium.com/@shauntagrimes/10-books-that-will-make-you-a-better-writer-and-why-86d2fa665df0

Hope one of this helps.

 

Great list. I have Self Editing for Fiction writers which I picked up when did my very first Nanowrimo. Haven't read it in years so probably could use a refresher.  However I'm in the middle of revision and found that while revising it makes me question every single thing so don't read these books while in the trenches.   Zen by Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite books that inspires me everytime I read it.  On Writing introduced me to Stephen King in a good way rather than through one of his horror books. Discovered his Dark Towers series and other books that are more psychological thrillers which I enjoy.   Indie Writer's Survival Guide by Sarah Kaye Quinn. We meet virtually years ago before she got published, part of an online writing group. Thrilled she is doing so well.  Didn't read Story Genius, but read through Wired for Story during an online MFA writing course. I got so much more out of Fire Up Your Writing Brain by Susan Reynolds. Vogler's Writers Journey is good if you are really into the merge between story writing and the heroes quest. Makes you think.    It's random what one gets from each book.  Some things will stand out and will really help and on another reading of the same book, something else will stand out and help.  Depends on what looking for at the time I guess. 

One book I really really loved was Alice LaPlante's Making of a Story.  I worked with a group of other writers through one chapter a month and using the exercises really learned so much about my characters, their backstory, motivations, etc.  Excellent book for creating content for a story.  Well worth checking out. 

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