Aristotle’s Incline

Aristotle…just saying (typing) his name makes me smartly. I can almost feel my brain doin’ somethin’. We will be a learnin’ ‘bout…Okay, I can’t keep that up.

**clears throat and cracks knuckles **

I asked you to take note of the incline in your handy dandy lil notebook. The structure of the incline is designed to help with the construction of your plot. It shows the build up of action until it reaches the pinnacle or climax of your story. If you haven’t doodled this image yet we’ll wait while you do that now.

30 Second Timer GIF | Gfycat

Got it? Good. We all ran and got a fresh top-off of our cuppa and found nibbles while you were doing what I asked you to do yesterday, so no cuppa for you. Now find your spot on the reading rug.

Dunce Cap - TV Tropes

This will teach you to not follow directions. Everyone else, please enjoy your nibbles while we move forward. I do hope you all brought your copies of The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. We are moving ahead into weekend 12 on page 141.

Yes, weeke- yes, page 141. I know it hasn’t been 12 weekends but with the pandemic it feels like A FULL YEAR. Now sit down and open your book. Please. Geesh.

Sorry, I have a quick temper this morning. I guess I shouldn’t have skipped my nibble. Anyway, on with the show! I know you copied down the incline, but we will be doing it again. This time use a full sheet of paper. Turn it to landscape so we have more room to jot down notes as the story moves forward. You could even make an incline for each chapter if you are an overachiever and have nothing better to do.

Plotting with Aristotle’s Incline

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His incline is divided into three separate parts, beginning, middle, and end. Now, there are fancier terms for these but I ain’t da fancy type. It marks the three main acts but there are moments and actions that will fall in-between. You can use this as a makeshift storyboard if it helps you. When you are doodling all these amazing details…PRINT. Yes, there is a reason. Duh.

We need to use both sides of our brains here. Yes, there are two sides. Printing diverts the attention from the left brain to the right.

Left Brain vs. Right Brain Dominance

The right side is more creative. We need to activate that side to see the tiny details and the larger picture of what we are trying to create. When you pay attention to the presentation of the actual letters, your focus is on the creative side. Like that novel you have been battling your way through. Get it? Awesome, right?

To fill in the large actions on your diagram, use short lines like, – “Macon Won’t Share,” “Macon Okays Muriel,”- et cetera.  Print out your large actions above the main line. “Macon Won’t Share” is your problem so it is plot point one. This is where you can add visual details like time, season, where they are, who’s in the opening scene with Macon. Below the line is where you add events that will fill out each scene as you move up to the climax. Above the line are Acts and below are the Scenes- get it? Acts are BIG while Scenes are smaller moments to build up the Act.

School Eraser Sticker for iOS & Android | GIPHY
This is almost as bad as the pencil gif from yesterday.

Just remember that what you write isn’t written in stone. It can, and more than likely, will change. Maybe a pencil would work better in the early stages. Erasers are there for a reason. Too bad they can’t erase life errors. Am I right?

When you finish your diagram or a section, take a break. Yes, you can do that. My brain would melt if I didn’t step away from time to time. The reason you need to walk away is your unconscious needs some time to process what you just did. The design and ideas have been planted. It is now time for your creative juices to take over and make it grow. In the end, you may end up doing another incline. Heck, you may end up doing a dozen over the course of the journey through your novel. Change happens. Embrace it.

Adapt to grow: Embrace change to get ahead

Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.

Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.

Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.

I’m always looking for new friends!

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