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THE NOVEL IN THREE ACTS

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by

Roger Lubeck

on 2 February 2014

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Transcript of THE NOVEL IN THREE ACTS

THE NOVEL IN THREE ACTS
Style, Plot, and Mechanics
Roger C. Lubeck, Ph.D.

ACT ONE
THE SET UP

Who is the story about?
Opening Scene
Opening Line / Paragraph
Relationship of MC to world
Introduction of Main Character(s)
Introduction of Secondary Characters
Critical incident that drive the story
Plot Point # 1

ACT TWO
CONFRONTATION

Rising action – attempt to resolve problem – character development

Sub-plots are introduced or developed

The protagonists attempt to resolve the problem and cannot

The protagonists must learn a skill to deal with the antagonistic forces that confront them.

By the end of Act Two, the protagonists are changed.

ACT THREE
RESOLUTION

The story and subplots are brought to an end.

The protagonists solve the main problem.

There is a dramatic event that is the climax.

The story closes

The End

A FINISHED FIRST DRAFT
OF A
NOVEL
50,000+ Words
in 30 Days
STRUCTURE
ALL NOVELS HAVE STRUCTURE
GETTING READY TO WRITE
SETTING TONE
Vito Corleone was a man to whom everybody came for help, and never were they disappointed. He made no empty promises, nor the craven excuse that his hands were tied by more powerful forces in the world than himself … It was understood, it was mere good manners, to proclaim that you were in his debt and that he had the right to call upon you at any time to redeem your debt by some small service. (Page 16).

IDEA
ALL NOVELS START WITH AN IDEA
STORY
IDEAS / PREMISE / STORY
SAME PREMISE
DIFFERENT GENRE
SEVEN PLOT TYPES
20 PLOTS
Preparation
36-DRAMATIC SITUATIONS
THREE PLOT TYPES
ACT 1
ACT 2
ACT 3
FROM IDEA TO STORY
To Plot or Not To Plot?
EXERCISE
The story premise:
It is about Guy Montag.
Montag is happy in his work.
Montag is a fire man.
His brigade burn books, all books.
In the story, Montag becomes disillusioned and begins to keep, hide, and read books.
In the end Montag escapes to a secret place where people learn to become books.
Exercise:
Describe the opening scene.
Write an opening line (No cheating).
What will end the first act?
What will open the second act?

DECIDE HOW IMPORTANT WINNING IS TO YOU
PLOT IF YOU NEED
FOLLOW THE RULES OF PUNCTUATION / GRAMMAR
USE A STYLE MANUAL FOR WRITING
CHECK – SPELLING / GRAMMAR

WRITE FIRST, RESEARCH, PLOT, EDIT, and CHAT LATER
IT ISN’T ABOUT SPEED IT IS ABOUT WORDS
WRITE 1667 WORDS A DAY
WRITE MORE ON THE WEEKENDS
STAY AHEAD
FINISH EARLY AND KEEP GOING TO “The End”

It was a pleasure to burn.
The Second Act needs
a great opening
Work on the opening line and scene for Act 2 (Chapter 5)
just like you did for ACt 1

In Rio Bravo -
Act 1 - Ward Bond is murdered (critical plot turn)
Act 1 - Ends when the Dude kills the man in the bar!
Act 2 - Opens with the scene when the Dude is surprised by the bad guys and tied up and Ricky Nelson must save John Wayne (Dude's fall).


ACT 3 Scene 2
Brutus.

Be patient till the last.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge.

If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar
was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
—Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him.

There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman?
If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak;
for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Antony.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men— Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
The writer's voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of idiotypical usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works). (Source -wikipedia)
Writer's Voice / Style
ROGER'S TIPS
JAWS - A novel in 4 Acts
What opens Act 1?
What is the critical event that ends Act 1?

What opens Act 2?
What is the critical event that ends Act 2?

What opens Act 3?
What is the critical event that ends Act 3?

What opens Act 4?
What is the critical event that ends Act 4?

IDEAS FOR NANOWRIMO
On your 3 X 5 Index card, write three story ideas.

1.

2.

3.


Tim Yao
All About NANOWRIMO
NAPERWRIMO
The Writing Journey
ROGER'S THOUGHTS
ABOUT NANOWRIMO
BRAINSTORMING
EXERCISE 1
1. Each person reads one idea
2. List all ideas with no criticism
3. Duplicate ideas are to be deleted and replaced
4. Continue until each idea is read
5. No Yeah Buts!
EXERCISE 2
1. Each person shares an idea with the other writer(s)
2. Each person suggests a plot idea to add to the other story
3. Continue until each writer has shared an idea
4. No Yeah Buts!
THANKS TO
TIM Yao (ML)
Katherine Lato (ML)
Frank Dahlman (ML)
Todd Hogan
Naperville Public Library

Plot Outline
GENRE
NOVELS FIT INTO GENRE
Suspense
Thriller
Romance
Adventure
Military
Youth
Christian
Other

Mainstream
Slice of life
Chick Lit
Fantasy
Science Fiction
Mystery
Crime
Horror
Full transcript