Ch 1 Blunders: Missing Beats

Bruno Catallano "Travellers"(Photo Credit: Imgur)

Don’t confuse your readers with illogical flow of sentances and action!

Last month, I received some fantastic feedback on the first quarter of my current MS. For this series of articles, I will draw from the remarks of my wonderful Beta readers and discussions I have had with other writers on these topics.

In some ways, I did not have a logical flow of events. Here were three bloopers that I made in the first chapter…

  • Action-reaction. Both need to be external. There can be a stated internalization (thoughts, feelings) but both the cause of the action and the response to the action need to be external and sensory (I’d say physical but depending on your genre…)
  • Rising action. Things should get worse for your character. I like to use a “Rule of 3”. Set-up, Complication, Disaster. But I’m learning to keep the set-up short by removing backstory and other forms of explanation.
  • Scene flow: Okay, I did not use on in this book — but I have in others! The first scene needs to cause thee second scene, and so on. Possible exception is if you change point of view to someone like a villain or love interest who is not in the same place as the MC and can’t logically be affected by the MC’s actions.

DISCLAIMER: This was feedback for one author’s MS and should not be taken as all-or-nothing advice for all stories.

 

(what is a beat, action-reaction, exception is action-internalization-reaction)

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