I’ve used this plot outline myself, and find it very effective…Try it out on a new story. You might enjoy the Challenge.-M.G. Herron, Scrivener Superpowers
Lester Dent and the Master Fiction Plot
Lester Dent was the real name of Kenneth Robeson, the creator and writer of the classic Doc Savage stories. His Master fiction plot article is a short essay outlining a good 6,000-word pulp story. Sure, it’s a simple 3 act structure ( One 1,500 word set up, 2 1,500 word sections of rising action, and one 1,500 word climax and denouement.) but it’s entertaining and easy to understand.
And therefore, pretty useful to the aspiring writer.
Scrivener Fiction Template for your use:
Now, this was pretty easy. I took a short story template and copied the complete text of Dent’s article for review. Then, I split the article up into cards. simple, no?
What I ended up with is a simple Scrivener Fiction Template that helps you plot out a 6,000 adventure story.
Here’s the Link to the Lester Dent Master Fiction Plot Scrivener Pulp Template:
I’ve also re-saved it as a Project. If the above doesn’t work, download the project folder, and “Save as Template” from the file menu in Scrivener:
Note: These files were created on Scrivener for Windows Demo, on a WIN8 machine. Previously, I had hosted them in Linux and was having lots of issues with cross-compatibility. If these do not work, I’m Sorry.
Ray Bradbury and Write 1 Sub 1
So Why DId I create a simple Scrivener Fiction Template for Pulp Action Stories, and what can it do for you?
This year, I decided to take part in the +Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. It’s based On Ray Bradbury‘s early writing habits – Write one story a week and send one story out for publication. Do this for a year and you’ll get better at it.
But it’s been hard to keep up, and my writing muscles ain’t what they used to be after years of neglect. It’s been hard to write and easy to procrastinate.
Towards that end, I decided to try Scrivener so I could waste more time playing around instead of drafting. Scrivener, for those of you who don’t know, is a writing program designed for writers. I don’t want to call it a word processor even the publishers say it’s designed to Compile manuscripts for publishing and editing in external processors. But it’s about the best at what it does. I’ve used yWriter, Writer’s Dreamkit, StoryBlocks and other organizing and outlining software before. And in every case, the learning curve was steep and the programs were not flexible enough to match my writing style.
But Scrivener seems to be a different beast. It’s really easy to use. Like a lot of organizers, it uses the concept of breaking up you work into small chunks easily represented by notecards. But the note card organizer ( The cork board) and the meta-data editor( The Inspector) are very intuitive and pretty much invisible until you need to use them. Your project is kept in a “Binder” allowing you add, edit, reorder and change note cards to your heart’s content. Under your research folder, you can add pictures, videos, sounds and web pages.
When it comes time to compile your book, you choose what folders and note cards to include. Decide what format you would like the finished product to be and “Bingo!”, Scrivener exports a pretty clean copy of the code. I’ve played with the Epub export, put it into Sigil to validate, and it’s clean as anything.
Enter Scrivener Templates
And one of the most useful functions I’ve found is the Scrivener template. You can save a blank project for use as a Scrivener template with these text cards already set up the way you choose to organize your projects. So, if you have a set way or organizing your front matter, text and back matter, you can save it as a Scrivener template and begin every project the same way.
So last night I imported my novel, a couple of stories, and created this Scrivener Template version of the Lester Dent Master Fiction Plot.
Aspiring Hobbyist. Current WIP is "Teddy Roosevelt and the Lost World." In a vanishing West once ruled by dinosaurs, a young Theodore Roosevelt leads an expedition into the Yellowstone Caldera to hunt hte last of the great predators.