I’m waiting to be approved for the Smashwords Premium Catalog, before I’ll be
distributed elsewhere. It can take a few days.
I’m now tossing ideas around for part two. If I was to write this story straight up,
full novel from beginning to end, I have to think about the first 30,000 words as an
introduction. I’m introducing the world, the characters, the situations, and
problems as they exist in that world. It’s all inclusive. I’m building on the first 30,000
words, making sure my next 30,000 words keep ramping up the action and suspense,
and the last 30,000 words lead to an explosive and satisfying finish. Beginning, middle,
end, I shoot for the WOW factor.
Fiction has to make sense. But, there’s more to it than that.
Why did I chose the Second Person Point of View? Did I read Fight Club and get
inspired? No. I get to delve deeply into the emotions of my protagonist. That’s it.
How will that be? Don’t know yet. My protagonist will show me the way. That’s
what all my characters do, and have done since I wrote my first word on my first
story. Almost nineteen full novels later, I’m not about to change. My story will
either work, or it won’t.
First, Lester Dent. I want you to understand his words as I do, and understand why
his simple formula is beyond classic, and will always remain alive within writers
If you don’t know who Lester Dent is, Google him. Learn something new.
This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on
adventure, detective, western, and war-air. It tells exactly where to put everything.
It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive thousand words. No
yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell.
The business of building stories seems not much different from the business of
building anything else.
Here's how it starts:
1. A DIFFERENT MURDER METHOD FOR THE VILLAIN TO USE
2. A DIFFERENT THING FOR THE VILLAIN TO BE SEEKING
3. A DIFFERENT LOCALE
4. A MENACE WHICH IS TO HANG LIKE A CLOUD OVER THE HERO
One of these DIFFERENT things would be nice, two better, three swell. It may
help if they are fully in mind before tackling the rest.
You can twist this formula right here and now to include just about every genre
and sub-genre known to humanity. Even graphic novels within their visual confines.
Mystery, thriller, science fiction, horror, urban paranormal, fantasy, whatever.
Think of it as a word substitution exercise for romance and erotica (or any genre).
"Murder method" is now "love interest," and "villain" can be "overall situation,"
depending on your personal point of view, and I'm not talking first, second, or
third person POV right now. I'm talking people. What you think, and what your
To take it a little farther, we'll use science fiction. The word substitution exercise
for this genre might be, "murder method" is now "possible encounter," and
"villain" can be "alien threat" or "new discovery."
For fantasy . . . "Murder method" is now "big problem," and "villain" can be
"person, place, or thing." Fantasy is the world that might never exist, so can be
whatever you need it to be. You are only limited by your imagination, so I suggest
you keep working to improve your imagination.
Why did I make number 4 bold? It’s the words “WHICH IS TO HANG LIKE A
CLOUD OVER THE HERO.” The word menace is just a word. It can be subbed
with words like, overall situation, new discovery, or person, place, or thing. To
continue with Lester . . .
A different murder method could be--different. Thinking of shooting, knifing,
hydrocyanic, garroting, poison needles, scorpions, a few others, and writing them
on paper gets them where they may suggest something. Scorpions and their poison
bite? Maybe mosquitos or flies treated with deadly germs?
Now change murder method to big problem. Choose your word substitutions
carefully, and make (hard copy) notes!
The importance of notes will become apparent as we further explore this method,
and how Lester's outline can help us. The one thing I want you to take from this:
They’re all we have to work with. Our words are everything . . . one word at a
I’ll get more and more into this with each successive post. And no, I’m not going
to post every day. Once a week, if I can, is good enough.
Show your support for indie authors. Don’t hesitate to read a sample, and
actually buy. It’s the only way to find out how the story ends.