Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#amwriting #plotting with W-structure in my House of #Tirgearryen T-shirt!

Welcome fellow writers and readers. Today I'm sharing my take on the W-structure for plotting.  I'm thrilled to be wearing my House of Tirgearryen T-shirt.  This generous gift from publishers Peter and Kemberlee Shortland is a huge inspiration while plotting my next book, Bittersweet Alliance, in the Donahue Cousins series for Tirgearr Publishing.
My synopsis for Bittersweet Alliance follows the W-structure. Each tip of the W is an act. Each book is stand-alone, but main characters from Deadly Alliance appear in Unholy Alliance. The same will be true in Bittersweet Alliance, my work-in-progress.  For me, the W-structure fits romantic suspense.
1.       Act 1: Trigger Event creates tension—the series of homicides. Series of problems from W1 to W2.
2.       Act 2:  A few clues unravel from W2 to W3. New ideas, positive momentum.
3.       Act 3:  Second triggering event deepens the problem.  The heroine becomes a target. W3 to W4.
4.       Act 4:  W4-- Dark moment, all is lost. W4 to W5, resolving the problem. New light, character growth, understanding. Final resolution.
The W-plot is anchored by five distinct turning points which are the tips of the “W”.  The series of events or phase connects each turning point with the next.  The writer moves the plot forward.  The “W” is a 4 act structure with the dark moment at W4.  There’s a beginning, middle, dark moment, and end.
Drivers are events that cause other events (events and decisions) in an act to occur.  In a romantic suspense actions require decisions by the hero and heroine who are wound into the event.  What they do causes more decisions to be made.  A clue causes a new set of decisions.  Things go downhill and reach rock bottom at turning point W4.  The resolution of the story ends the mystery combined with a happily ever after.
Here is another way to describe the actions:
Initial actionà decisionsà action 2à decisionsà action 3à decisionsà crisis actionà decesionsàfinal action.
The driver (or turning point) begins an act by pushing the story in a new direction.  The main characters explore facts/hunches/feelings which create the sequence of events that follow.  Drivers can be either actions (external) or decisions. Five turning points solidify the plot.
Every romantic suspense needs and overall through-line: The main mystery concerns the story goal.
Main character through-line: Hero and heroine resolve his and her inner conflicts.
Impact character through-line: the story influences the character.
Relationship through-line: changing relationship between characters.
Bittersweet Alliance.  Paige Kaloha learns a friend is missing. Talks to friend’s family and notifies a retired FBI operative, Gary Guhleman, who lives in her neighborhood. Guhleman pulls strings so that the FBI in Hawaii employs Danker Donahue.  Paige and Danker dated in the past. She’s reluctant to work with him.  They have different approaches to the solving the mystery.  This and their mutual attraction mpacts their relationship.

Her journey conflicts with his journey with an emotional rollercoaster. 

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