Monday, August 23, 2010

Reader Notes Template

When I read Thriller/Suspense novels, I am not just reading for personal pleasure.  I am also attempting to learn how "the best" writers do it.  I've developed this template to record information as I read.  I then make copies of the pages for analysis and voice exercises.

Reader Notes Template


by ____________________________

Published By: _______________________________
Date Published: _________________
Agent Acknowledged: _______________________
Genre: ____________________

Story Milestones / Beats:

First Scene 0% _________________________________________

Premise 2.5% __________________________________________

Catalyst 8.3% __________________________________________
Plot Point I 25% ________________________________________

Act II Metaphor
Pinch Point I 37.5% _____________________________________

Mid-Point 50% _________________________________________

Pinch Point II
“All Is Lost” 62.5% _______________________________________

Plot Point II 75% ________________________________________

Learning to Imitate Voice:
Enter page numbers to copy for exercise:
Exercise 1: 1st three pages, & last page of 1st Chapter
Exercise 2:_______
Exercise 3:_______
Exercise 4:_______
Exercise 5:_______

Introducing the Protagonist:
a. Does the author use description? Dialogue? Action?

b. How (and when) does the author convey the character’s name, gender, job, age, and physical appearance? Page number: _____

c. What character traits does the author initially reveal, and how?

d. How much of the character’s background does the reader learn at the beginning?

Character Introductions: Enter name and page number where character is introduced:
Character 1 ____________________
Character 2 ____________________
Character 3 ____________________
Character 4 ____________________
Character 5 ____________________

Point of View:
What choices of point of view did the author make?
a. First Person?
b. Third Person?
c. Single point of view?
d.. Multiple point of view?

Action:  Enter page numbers to copy for action, fight, chase, etc. scenes


Sex: Enter page numbers to copy __________________

Read the first three chapters. Make a list of the backstory elements and notice how the author chooses to convey each.

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