Manual Journey (A Contemporary Novel)

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The more a person writes, the more they realize that without a plan of some sort to guide them on their way, they will be wandering around in the dark forest of doubt. All stories should have twists. The plot should rise and fall.

“The invisible journey”

The hero ine should start with a problem, or be given a problem soon after the story starts, which gets worse throughout the story, and then ends with the hero ine saving the day. A story structure is a formula to use as a guide while writing your novel. I think of a story structure as the bones of my story. The most intense crisis found in the narrative, though not necessarily the final crisis.

The series of events after the climax of the story where questions are answered and any remaining crises occur and are resolved. A specific type of falling action where the hero returns to their ordinary world bearing some memento of his otherworldly journey. Typically found in fantasy and science fiction novels. The final moments of a novel where any remaining threads of tension are resolved and a new reality is established. Now that you're all caught up, let's talk about the one plot structure I don't recommend you use.

Freytag's Pyramid is the only plot structure I recommend you stay away from. That's right! You were probably taught this structure in school, but in my opinion, it needs to go. Well, let's break it down:.

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What is it? Freytag's Pyramid is as simple as it gets The climax falls in the middle of the story, and then the second half is spent on a very long falling action, followed by a short resolution. Weird, right? When you apply Freytag's Pyramid to a modern novel, you get one heck of a boring story. Who wants to see the villain defeated in the middle of a page novel, right? That's about as bland as it gets. If anything, Freytag's Pyramid is best used for structuring children's books.


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Adults understand the cycles of human psychology well enough to know what life is going to be like for the hero after the climactic conflict. A longer falling action will help young readers understand the effects of conflict on a character. All grown up! The Fichtean Curve is similar to Freytag's Pyramid, but it is much better suited for modern young adult and adult books. This plot structure is probably the most popular across all creative writing genres. It's been used time and time again by novelists, short story writers, and poets because the formula simply works.

The Fichtean Curve begins immediately with rising action, the exposition being scattered throughout first half of the story. Many crises appear, each followed swiftly by its own mini falling and rising action. Here or abroad. Best, Melissa. Thanks for this list! The trip started in Tangiers hence the title , and the journey involved far more than just the intended destination. The author mixes in plenty of history with his travel, comparing his own journey and sights with the previous one. Great list! The Beach is now on my reading list for next month!

Geography of Bliss is one of my all-time favorite travel books love the section on Iceland especially— it gave me some great conversation starters with locals when I visited. You will find yourself agreeing over and over again see also his brilliant How Proust can Change your Life a hilarious self-help book disguised as a philosophy and Kiss and Tell the anatomy of a relationship.

Contemporary Hero's Journey: The Post-Campbell Post — Fiction Unbound

Love his pithy twitter feed insights too. Tales from Fast Trains— Europe at mph Tom Chesshyre — I am jealous of Londoners who can hop on a train and see a different country every weekend—Times writer Chesshyre does just that. Postcards from Europe— Rick Steves. The Lunatic Express— Carl Hoffman. I just downloaded The Alchemist — starting reading it! I love a good travel book that makes you think about life. The interesting part about this blog post is the highlights about each book and how each book may be relevant. Great post. There is one other book missing from this fabulous list which was the first book ever read to me as a three year-old.


  1. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais;
  2. A Review of the U.S. Workplace Wellness Market.
  3. Use a story structure to make writing your novel a lot easier;
  4. Introduction: A Journey around the Picaresque Novel?
  5. “The invisible journey”.
  6. Share this page.
  7. The Back Nine (The Scott Wilson Mysteries Book 2).
  8. My dad read it to me aloud, night after night, and it truly was the beginning for me as a traveller. I escaped. I went everywhere. My imagination bloomed.

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    I went to sea, I struck gold. If somehow this masterpiece has slipped through your fingers, grasp it!

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    You will never be sorry. Thanks for the list! Before deciding to start our slow travel nomadic life by land my boyfriend and I were planning to buy a sailboat and sail slowly around the world. Matt, Thanks for the great list.

    Vagabonding was one of the books that helped me leave on our first sabbatical in I also loved the Four Hour Work Week. I am always looking for books on travel for my kindle so thanks for having so many great new ones to explore!

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    Lisa We Said Go Travel. At LAST! Thanks a ton. One of the most entertaining travelogues I have read. Thanks for the suggestions. Lucky for us now, the reasons to travel are more to fulfill personal dreams. As for modern travel literature, The Beach is a classic almost cliche one that still gives me that wanderlust feeling. Just read it …..

    It is a classic.

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    Introduction: A Journey around the Picaresque Novel

    I love Troosts books too about living on different Pacifi Islands….. Have to get around to reading his latest one about following in the footsteps of RLS in the Pacific….. Great to see tips on travel books, Matt. Thanks to this post I downloaded and read the alchemist in a day.