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Monday, July 5, 2010

Blocking your Chapters

Ok ok, I did learn some things from How-To books. I learned about chapter blocking and now that I'm doing it I find it actually does help.

Here's how I do it:

- Open a word document and save it as "Chapter Blocking"
- Decide on the who, what, where's and how's on that chapter
- Leave room for what the reader needs to find out in that chapter

Here is an example of my way of chapter blocking:

Chapter #1 - introduces main character
Where: The Airport
When: Early evening, mid-summer, present time
How: 1st person narrative through main characters eyes - present tense
Narrator's mood: Anxious with underlying anger
Who: Main character, various passerby's, security guards
What do we need to find out in this chapter: Main character going on a trip, that he has falsified documents, that he's a widower, he is in disguise

You can add and remove any information in this section. This is a good time to plan the scene of the "where" since it won't be coming up too often in the story.


Where: The airport Grey and cold, bustling, loud.
And then add more
Where: The airport Grey and cold, bustling, loud.
and then add more
Example: The airport Grey and cold bustling and loud. Hard marble floors and the smell of cleaner in the air.
And so on...

By the time you go to write the chapter you already know the scene in front of you. Plus you can jump around scenes as well. You might know how the novel is going to end and you can work on the final chapter in the same manner adding or changing as your story develops.

Slowly progressing,
Nina Powers

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