My current work in progress is in honor of Canada's 150th birthday: On a Stormy Primeval Shore
In 1784, Englishwoman Amelia Latimer sails to the new colony of New Brunswick in faraway Canada. She’s to marry a man chosen by her soldier father. Amelia is repulsed by her betrothed, and refuses to marry him. She is attracted to a handsome Acadian trader, Gilbert, a man beneath her in status. Gilbert must fight the incursion of English Loyalists from the American war to hold onto his land and heritage. Will he and Amelia find peace when events seek to destroy their love and lives.
|Available in 2018|
What is a story arc? An agent once asked me if my story followed the three-arc format? I had no idea what she was talking about. Then I took a writing class, which helped—sort of—to explain this issue. I was under the impression I could write my novel any way I wanted to, rambling on and on, throwing in info dumps, but no, you must have an arc, a frame work, highs and lows and a wrapping up at the end.
Since I’m a ‘pantzer’ i. e., I write by the ‘seat of my pants’, I just start writing with a slight idea of who my characters are and what the setting will be. It’s after I’ve written several chapters that I figure out where the story will go.
For this novel, I read up on the history of New Brunswick, decided to start with the ‘break’ of the colony from Nova Scotia in 1784, and tossed my female character, Amelia, a young Englishwoman, into those events. My male character is Acadian. Gilbert grew up with the ebb and flow of changing events, the expulsion of his people when the British came, and so forth. This way I could show the colony from the POV of two different cultures.
As for story arcs, I’m not sure if I follow the framework as I should. I try to intermix action, with gentler scenes, have a big action scene near the end, then wrap up the story. My characters often tell me which way to go once their personalities flesh out and they take over the novel. I try to work in the history in ways that make sense and don’t overwhelm the reader. But I still like those info dumps, darn it!
I suppose for this type of novel a story arc is boy meets
girl, boy loses girl, people shoot at each other, further difficulties arise
that I won’t reveal, then, hopefully, everything comes out all right in the end.
|French flintlock pistol, 1790|
To find out more about Diane Scott Lewis and her novels, visit her BWL Author page
Or her website: dianescottlewis.org