This post will dissect the Zero to Fifteen Percent of the First Act of the Three Act Structure. The first fifteen percent of your novel, I believe, is the most important. It encompasses the Hook and the Setup of the First Act. If you’re wondering what they all are, and how it is going to make your story a best-seller––read below.
The Three Act Structure, defined by Reedsy, is “It digs deep into the popular notion that a story must have a beginning, middle, and end, and goes even further, defining specific plot events that must take place at each stage.”Reedsy.
I’m going to do a part-series on how you can apply the Three Act Structure to your story but more importantly, focusing in on the specific stages, to help you entice the reader to keep reading past chapter one.(more…)
While I write I listen to my Pandora station, which is a collection of instrumentals, orchestras, string-orchestras and harmonic melodies.
I was deep in focus with my writing, the music is more of a background noise, then John Butler’s instrumental ‘Ocean’ brought me from my words.
I sat back and enjoyed the 12mins of the instrumental. It was worth every second, every minute but it had to come to a resolution and end. (you can watch/listen to it here)
I sat back with the goosebumps all over my body settling down. John Butler is an artist. He uses his melodies to explain his life struggles, peak moments and to where he is now.
I saw him Live a few years ago and I had the same feelings. John claimed before he begun, ‘Ocean’ is his story, a journey of his life, verses and rhythms that are added and changed over time. On YouTube you can watch all different live shows and there will be differences with each verse but it will always have the ultimate climax.
Last night John Butler’s ‘Ocean’ made me realize, it is a novel.
It has an introduction, it builds up, plateaus, builds up, drops down, spikes to it’s ultimate climax. Then gradually winds down with a few high peaks, but not as high as the climax then ends.
Exactly how a novel should carry their reader through their story.
A novel should have build ups, pleteaus and the ultimate climax. Joseph Campbell would agree and direct the argument towards his theory of ‘The Hero’s Journey’. I won’t go into complete detail of each step and the flaws but I will mention his theory caused a backlash as it neglected the Heroine’s Journey which was formed later on by Maureen Murdock.
Each climax draws the reader closer to the story, more engaged with the characters and the reader care about why the protagonist is embarking on a journey.
Even though they are different mediums, songs and novels serve the same purpose; to carry their audience on a journey.
My brother asked me, “what do I want to accomplish with writing?” The first thing that popped into my head was to leave a footprint. Not an environmental footprint but one I can call my own, show my own individuality and show my passion.
I learned from University, to create your literary footprint you must read a
diverse range of books to find your own voice. So I did. I read: teeth-clenching mysteries, predictable thrillers, philosophical fiction, dystopian science-fiction and heptalogy fantasy series (I had to google that, it’s a 7-book series); after all the page-flicking, I have found a voice I am comfortable to call my own.
I still read a wide range now. I found my genre I want to write in and now I read a diverse range of Fantasy writers.
My blog will also contain book reviews of all the books I have read, reading or hoping to read. To showcase, that I might have a bit more of an idea with writing than people tend to think.
For now I’ll let you ponder, as a writer or reader, on what kind of voice
you have in the literary world.
The Authors life’s inspire their writing, a few of them were writers without consciously choosing; a natural flow into the field. To a high degree their facts mixed with fiction, for example Tim Pear starting writing as he moved to England, his reflective journals of his presence in the new world – a realization of his new location – inspired his first novel.
The main element of my life that will influence my writing is Relationships: family relationships, sexual relationships, friendships, good/ bad and animals/ humans.
I watched a live video of Alison Tait, author of The MapMakers Chronicles (link here) and one of the comments she made was, ‘write what you know’. That for me resonates and will always be something that I fall back to and that’s what other aspiring authors can remember.
Fantasy has always been revolved around my life. I guess my goal for writing is to intertwine these real relationships with fantasy to make readers relate to it.
An appropriate photo for inspiration and influence is a
photo I took a few years ago. I decided to visit New Zealand
and draw inspiration from Hobbiton
and the picturesque landscape.
Hobbiton: Where Hobbits Live.
It’s been a long time since I have been on here. I actually forgot about this space. To fill in the gaps, I have been graduating University (champagne bottle pops!) and paying back an enormous debt.
I am on the other side of that and in the draft stage of my first novel. My goal is to try build an audience whilst writing, so when the time comes I have an audience outside the family scope.
I hope to see you on here soon, in the meantime I will share posts, short stories and poems I have written. If they are not mine, I will correctly source them.
Douglas W T Smith
The first post is my step into the unknown. This is for my writing, which one day will hopefully turn myself from a writer into an author. Plants all start off small, with enough water, sunlight and fresh air they can grow as high as they can possible stretch their trunks and branches. That is my plan, to grow until my heart is content and not my wallet full. I feel I am on the first step towards my bliss.
Bliss is your perfect happiness, a state of happiness were your oblivious to your surroundings.
I didn’t know what bliss was. I had heard it before but after watching Joseph Campbell’s documentary (below) it made it a lot clearer. I advise to people to watch this documentary. It makes you step back from your own day-to-day life and achieve what you want to, accept the challenges life throws at you and how to deal with it. In the present day it is hard to be completely oblivious to your surroundings, it is a challenge, a challenge that I accept.
For the first post, enjoy this documentary, it goes for an hour and twenty minutes but it is not time you will want back.
Till next time…