As a writer, it’s important to be two people. One of you is the creative writer. The other is the analytical, big-picture editor. Visualizing your story as a whole will help you edit like a professional.
This is why the Story Arc is so important. It provides an immediate visual of your manuscript. But Story Arcs were always tricky to draw. Until now…
The Story Arc by Feedback
First, a recommended story arc is drawn based on the word count of your novel. Next, your story arc is drawn based on an automatic analysis of your scenes.
The app estimates which scenes are the inciting incident, plot point 1, the middle, plot point 2, and the climax of your novel.
You can then confirm if the correct scenes were identified. If not, with a couple clicks, you can redraw the story arc with the scenes you selected. Then you can decide if you’ve put your key story events in the right place.
Remember, a great novel contains key story events. A story arc will help you visualize your manuscript to ensure you’ve considered these events and their timing in your story.
The inciting incident is a major turning event halfway through the 1st act. It’s the moment the protagonist’s world changes in a dramatic way and you hook your reader into the story. This should happen before 10% of your novel. Readers are impatient, so don’t wait too long.
Plot is how the events in your story impact your protagonist. Plot points force your protagonist to change behavior.
Plot Point One (PP1) forces your protagonist to react to an event. She now has a story goal.
The Middle is different from PP1 in that the protagonist moves from a reactionary mode to taking deliberate action.
Plot Point Two (PP2) will be a low point for your protagonist. Her actions since the middle have caused disaster. At PP2, she becomes more determined to reach her goal.
Plot point one (PP1) typically occurs at the end of Act I. Try to place this around 25% into your novel. The Middle is 50% into your novel. Plot Point two (PP2) will occur at the end of Act II. This should happen around 75% into your novel.
The climax (highest dramatic tension) of your novel happens somewhere around 90% into your novel. This is a guide so you can check you’re not writing too much after the climax.
But wait, there’s more…
You can also view characters on the Story Arc and see when they enter and exit your novel.
Feedback: For Writers By Writers
Feedback is being developed by fiction writers for fiction writers. Just as important, the app is now being tested by other writers to ensure it becomes an indispensable tool for everyone with a first draft. Last week, James Osborne, former senior editor at Canadian Press and bestselling author, tried the app and said:
I’ve been privileged with a sneak preview of Feedback. It’s brilliant! Hands down the most innovative structural editing app for writers you’re going to see anywhere anytime soon!
His latest novel is Encounters With Life: Tales of Living, Loving and Laughter. You can find out more about James’s novels at his amazon author page.
If you’re interested in early access to Feedback and testing some of the features, let me know by email or sign up for early access.
Coming Summer 2017
You heard that right. Summer 2017! We are targeting to make Feedback available to everyone later this summer. There is so much more to come, and I’ll keep sharing as more features are added.