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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Write that Novel: The Skeleton

Every writer I know talks about establishing a great plot. A plot is what makes a book, but how do you establish a plot and how do you know you have a good plot? The plot is not the writing, nor is it the hook. It is the skeleton of your novel. Flesh comes later.
We all know this chart. Yes, its simple and yes we all know how to do this, but do we really? The Skeleton of your story refers to the bones that hold up the flesh. Literally speaking. This is your core. Sometimes the skeleton of the story makes most people fail to see the idea of the structure. Artists insist that there is no point in the structure, because it clogs off your creativity. It blocks those emotions. Truly, every single story spices and tingles your emotions because it is based on a basic structure. Flip through ANY book. They all have the same skeletal structure as shown above.

Even query writing depends on this. A query is the tale of the very key skeletal structure. The very main points. You don't tell back-story, you don't show unneeded information. You focus on the key points. This structure applies to all genres worldwide.

Exposition is the information needed to understand a story. (Don't confuse exposition for back-story).

Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.

Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.

Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close.



  1. YES! All writers can benefit from paying attention to this skeleton. I see it kind of like the rise and fall of the heartbeat of your book. If it doesn't look like this on the monitor, something is wrong.

  2. That is a great comparison Martinelli! Love it :)

  3. Some people for about the importance of the plot itself while writing. It's was moves the story forward. If you don't have a strong plot, you've got nothing. Nice post!


  4. That's a great point Justine! Love your comments always :)