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Quartering A Book

A recipe for fiction writing that works equally well for that frozen chicken you’ve been meaning to make for dinner.  Actually, this information was so helpful that I wanted to give it a post all to itself!  Thanks to Dusty Richards for sharing his take on fiction writing at the recent Ozarks Writers’ Conference in Hollister, Missouri.
Quartering A Book
Imagine a clock.  The clock is divided into four quarters, with each quarter representing a section of your book.  Each quarter is about 75 pages (for a 300-page book), and embodies a part of the journey your character will take.
1st Quarter – Main character is LOST.  The main character wonders, ‘What’s going on’, ‘which side should I choose’, or ‘who is involved in this situation’?

2nd Quarter – Main character is an ORPHAN.  No one will help him/her or believe their story.  He feels alone, and may doubt his ability to overcome the problem.

3rd Quarter – Main character is EMERGING HERO.  Help arrives, problems begin to be understood, and the main character feels a sense of relief and empowerment.

4th Quarter – Main character is HERO (or Martyr, if he dies).  All is revealed, and our hero is vindicated.

SuperTip: To analyze how an author writes their book, read every third page of their book.  It will keep you from getting too involved in the story, and allow you to see the pacing and technique that the author used.  (Read page 3, 6, 9, 12, …)

***If you try the above, please let me know what you learned, and how it worked for you!

You can learn more by ordering Dusty Richards’ book, Writing the West.

2 thoughts on “Quartering A Book

  1. Hahahah – those were from the notes that Dusty wrote on the whiteboard. I didn’t even do the math! But as you know, I never do the math…

    I’ll fix it, Miss Picky-Pants. Thanks!

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