Writing Deep Scenes by Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld, Writer’s Digest Books, 2016
Never have I read such a succinct, smart book for writers about plotting including action, emotion, and theme. I read it pen in hand and notebook at the ready to scrawl down new ideas for my own books, including, yes, the wonderful ways that I can make things worse for my characters.
With this book, I have mucked about, explored, and scrambled my way to an entirely different, more fully realized story. Their approach to four quadrants of narrative arc (Beginning, Emerging Middle, Deeper Middle, and End) were the compass, the North Star, the map, the everything that I needed to reimagine, inhabit, and enjoy the story that I have been working on for more than two years. With their view of Action, Emotion, and Theme in each stage of the story, I was able to deepen, enrich, and enjoy my story from different angles. Days after finishing the book, I am still struck by how powerful, how magical, and how useful their well-written and clearly delineated guide has been.
I could not recommend this book more highly. Shove all your guides to plot and story structure to the side and read this one.