Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wimp to Warrior

I'm getting through this story structure if it kills me. I wasn't going to write tonight, or blog, but I couldn't sleep and after debating 5 minutes whether to clean house or write-- here I am, ready to tackle Part 3!! The kitchen floor can wait.

According to Larry Brooks, the genius who explains story structure on his website, the Part 3 attack comes after the mid-point milestone: "Part 3 is where the hero literally fights back, hatches a plan, enlists assistance, demonstrates courage, shows initiative. This is when they step up. They evolve from responder to attacker. From wanderer to warrior. And just as importantly, this is where they begin to really fight about against their inner demon."

So I have (finally!) figured out my mid-point, and true to form, my wonderful and quirky main character (I love Marcie McGill!) goes from wimp to warrior. Thus I'm on the right track. Marcie is now taking care of business, stepping it up and becoming an attacker. So I'm deep into Part 3 and headed for the second plot point.

All is not well in the world of my wip, however. Because it's all happening too fast. It needs more scenes and more tension. That's okay, I can do that later. For now, it's enough to know that the crux of the story triangle is in place. And the second plot point is right around the corner--along with my ending.

Word count is only 51,000. No worries. After this draft I'll go back to the beginning--now that the basic story structure is in place-- to fine tune the writing itself while adding scenes. That's the fun part. Wait! It's all fun! Up until the final two words. The End!


  1. I find your analysis if plot fascinating. I've never thought about it in this way.

  2. Thanks, Kate. Blogging about it has helped me understand it better myself.

  3. I will have to look at my WiP again and see if it follows this. Thanks and good luck!

  4. Oh, and whenever we think about "attack mode" don't we just get a silly smile on our faces??

    I do. I guess that means we need to really make attack mode believable and kick butt enough to get people saying "YEAH!! I love this character!"

    I personally cannot wait to see Marcie in kick butt mode. ;)

  5. Oh Well Done You!!!


    Definitely time to step and and turn wimp to warrior! Great to know you are loving your character.

    Good luck and all the best with your wip!!!


  6. I'm excited for you about the current draft. You've got lots of lovely words to work with. I will go through my current WIP and see if my hero/heroine become "warriors," too!

    Great post. And good for you to skip the floors and go to the book.

  7. Good for you! I'm excited on your behalf. After these three lessons, I can't wait to write my next manuscript with new eyes, looking for that mid-point, and making sure I have a warrior in the second half.

    I saw your picture of Xena this morning, and was looking forward to reading it. I'll admit that I loved that show for awhile. In fact, I've named my GPS, Xena Warrior Navigator because she's heroic in getting me where I need to go (I'm terrible at directions when I'm alone in the car).

  8. So when Marcie is more like Xena you'll really be cross-genred-can't wait.

  9. To all you Xena fans,

    Metaphorically speaking. Don't get too excited! It's still very much a character-driven novel.

  10. Isn't Xena playing a new part these days. Can't remember the name of the new show at the minute.

    I am thrilled to hear Marcie is taking control. Time to start putting all the tips you have shared into practice.

    Best of luck with the rest of the story.

  11. Ann, I am so into this warrior stance right now that I'm changing my photo to reflect it. There's a lot of things in my life (as well as in my wip) where the warrior woman has to come to the battle front. Not the least of which is doing author presentations, which I used to avoid and now I'm going after them.

  12. I'm thinking about my own wip and when my main character fights back - I think she needs to put on her warrior suit a little earlier!

  13. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting! I'm still working on my warrior stance, both for myself and my MC.


  14. Yes, you're so right to get the first draft down without worrying too much about word count - and you have to be quite a warrior to have the confidence to do that!

  15. Don't worry if just 51,000 words - getting the story down is the most important part, as you say, you can always go back and insert scenes.

    I am looking forward to the day when I finish the current book idea and start on the second. Writing the first(and current) book idea has been so hit and miss.