So, I promised you earlier today that I would be back with some more great info. from Larry Brooks and Story Engineering. Here it is!
If you haven't already hopped over to this Cover Contest, (Like me, Like me) you still have a chance. Vote for your 3 favorite. Amazing Covers.
Thanks to everyone who hopped around the blog hop. I made a lot of new friends. I hope you did, too.
And... Some awesome news! I'm going to be at Swiss Days in Midway, Utah tomorrow, Saturday, September 3rd. I can't wait! I have the best time, too. I'll be there from 8:30-10:30. I'll be in the Book Shop on the corner aisle, booth #60. Come visit me bright and early.
So, onto Story Engineering!
A summary of the most important moment of your story...
It's the first plot point.
It is where everything changes for your hero.
Once you get this Larry says:
"Welcome to the rest of your writing life"
Since we do want to move on....
- It will be the thing that gets you published
- It must happen at the 20-25% mark in your story
- This is non-negotiable
- That means you have 60-80 pages to make your reader have an emotional investment in the story
- If you do it too early, your readers won't care and they won't finish the book
- If you do it too late, you risk losing your reader because they are waiting and waiting
However....Larry does give you an out if you do wait a bit long...
"Don't sweat the percentages. Sweat the stakes, the dramatic tension, and reader empathy."
What does he mean by that? If your first plot point comes after the 25% mark, make sure there is good reason for it. Make sure that whatever scenes you are using to set the story up raise the stakes, add dramatic tension and make your readers have a wrenching desire to know the outcome.
I just realized Protected, the sequel to Watched has it's first plot point past the 25% mark...Guess my first set of beta-readers will let me know if I've done as Larry demands.
Yes, it's with the first round of beta-readers.... Yahoo!