Review: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Plot Structure

Book Review: Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish by James Scott Bell by Teri Harman, @TeriHarman

Goodreads Summary

Craft an Engaging Plot

How does plot influence story structure? What’s the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that’s gone off course?

With Write Great Fiction. Plot & Structure, you’ll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot, including: Techniques for crafting strong beginnings, middles, and ends. Easy-to-understand plotting diagrams and charts. Brainstorming techniques for original plot ideas.

Thought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapter

Story structure models and methods for all genres

Tips and tools for correcting common plot problems

Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidanceWrite Great Fiction. Plot & Structure gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro.

My Review

Writers read this book! Read it with a highlighter and a pen and a notebook. Then, after you’ve digested all the amazing tips and ideas, put them into action and fix your plots.

This was recommended to me by author Jennifer Griffith and I’m so glad I read it. I only wish I’d read it earlier. Sometimes writers think because we can spin intricate webs of words that we can also automatically put them together into a gripping plot (guilty!). But there is a science to it, as well as an art. The more you know about how a plot works, the better you can write one. These tips on how to structure a narrative and how to create a story that flows well and readers relate to make so much sense AND make it easier to write a book.

Author James Bell‘s approach is practical and easy-to-understand and he lays it out plainly, with lots of humor. His tips and insights are inspirational as well as effective. He provides examples from famous books and authors and also some great writing exercises.


If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Thanks for reading! Teri

Share notes: @TeriHarman #amwriting


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