The Irish Firebrands Story Arc.

When I started writing Irish Firebrands, I’d never taken a creative writing course.* I detest outlining, and didn’t plan any of my academic or non-fiction writing, so I completely “pantsed” the novel, too, and finished it three years later, with nearly 200,000 words. When I saw this great story arc illustration, it looked familiar, so I compared my novel to the graph, and sure enough: it’s exactly the pattern that Irish Firebrands follows. Here’s what it looks like, added to the illustration:

The Irish Firebrands Story Arc

(click to enlarge, or follow text link to download original graph)

The existence of a chronological story arc does not mean the story was written that way. I started writing at a point in the book that became the end of Chapter 23 and the beginning of Chapter 24. Then, I wrote the second half of the first chapter (at the Establish Routine arrow) and the Inciting Incident. I wrote the end of Chapter 30, the beginning of Chapter 9, and the very last scene of the book, before I wrote the beginning of Chapter 1.

A lifetime of reading went under my hatband before I began writing Irish Firebrands. My reading and writing tastes run to literary fiction, often of epic length, which can support this kind of shark’s-tooth pattern. The simpler, bell-curve shape below, may be more appropriate for the short stories, genre novelettes and NaNoWriMo novellas that make up the majority of the independently published work that’s currently on the market.

Plotmountain

If you’re a “pantser” author, and have graphed your book, I’d like to see your story arc pattern. Please post a link in the comments section, to show how it looks.

* I still haven’t taken one. Life is too short, now, for that. The Daughters of Zeus have plenty of plans to keep me busy, until “They” have to pry the keyboard out of my hands.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

2 responses to “The Irish Firebrands Story Arc.

  1. Thank you for linking to my post – it’s interesting to see how your story matches up with the Arc! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently, I unconsciously absorbed the arc, sometime during 50 years of reading. There are two POV characters, so Chapter 1 is divided between establishing both of their Routines, and the Inciting Incident that brings them together at the end of the chapter. Also, there are two strong secondary characters, which is why the Denouement is longer than suggested. But this is Art – and like Tolkien, I don’t write novelettes! 😀

      Like

Light A Fire Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s