The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Friday, May 18, 2012

Please Welcome Chris Redding

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism. When she isn’t writing or giving workshops, she works part time for her local hospital. She belongs to Liberty States Fiction Writers and International Thriller Writers. Her latest thriller, Blonde Demolition, is available now.


Three-Act Structure

This is a brief summary of my workshop “Lights! Camera! Bestseller!” which I’ll be presenting for on June 15 and for on October 1, 2012.

This structure was inspired by Aristotle. Act One is the beginning. Act Two is the middle. Act Three is the end. But there is a little more to it than that.
The second act is usually twice as long as the other two acts.
I’m a pantser; in other words, I write by the seat of my pants, but even so, my books naturally fall into this structure. Some authors think structure is a creativity killer. If I plot, I’m not interested in writing the story, but that’s me. Many people plot and this can be one of those devices used. It’s really an outline. Consider it the structure of a sculpture. Or the dowels that hold up several layers of a wedding cake.
Knowing the story’s structure helps you to make the story clear to the reader. You can now create a story with emotional depth because it has a foundation to it.
Begin with the Inciting Incident. You must have all the events in Act One leading to this point. This point is inevitable and there can be no changing the hero’s mind.  There is no turning back at the end of Act One. For example, when Dorothy landed in Oz, there was no turning back.
The Shaping Force comes in the middle of Act Two. Remember Act Two is longer. So if your novel is 300 pages, Act Two is about 150 pages long.
At the midpoint of Act Two, your character should have undergone some change. He should now be on the offensive rather than the defensive. The last scene in Act Two should send the character in a new direction. He should be prepared to resolve the conflict. Your character is at the second turning point and is prepared to defeat the villain and reach his goal that began at the Inciting Incident.
Act Two is the meat of the book, just as in the movies, especially with action flicks.
Act Three can be short. All must be wrapped up.


msspencerauthor said...

Welcome Chris--I hope our readers enjoy your essay as much as I did! M. S. Spencer

Chris Redding said...

Thanks for having me.