There are a lot of things like this out there, but this is one of the best, most succinct and well-written examples I’ve ever seen. I found it via Joanna Penn (you may remember her from Day 1 of the blog book tour) who passed on the link via Twitter (you can find Jo there under @thecreativepenn). The link was to Nathan Bransford’s blog. Nathan Bransford is a literary agent for Curtis Brown. I’ve mentioned him before and I regularly follow his blog, but for some reason I missed this one.
Anyway, the particular post in question is a guest blog from A Victoria Mixon, a writer and editor for over thity years. The stuff she writes about in this article is stuff that every writer should know and stuff that every writer should do. However, the way she presents that stuff in this article is excellent and a great way to give your brain a refresher. In the article she says:
Hook your reader (make them curious), tell your story, throw them off a metaphorical cliff when you’re done.
She then goes on to the five biggest mistakes in plotting:
1) Starting with backstory.
2) Letting the complications sag.
3) Dragging your denouement out.
4) Putting the climax too far from the end.
5) Using a trick ending.
And then she talks about Character, Dialogue, Description, Action and Exposition.
It’s a brilliant piece – go here and read the whole thing. Then read it again. Then bookmark it for later.