The general structure of a story or scene should outline as follows:
A hook; a goal; an obstacle; an action; some response; a cliffhanger or a problem leading to next scene.
A good hook should ground a reader and engage him or her emotionally. It should show and not tell what’s happening. It should not slow down the story to describe a setting or back-story… it should have a balance. Lastly, a lot of readers don’t read prologues so be careful if your hook is in the prologue because you may just miss out.
Conflict can be internal or external. Conflict can be in a dialogue. Dialogue is real people talking, toned down. Dialogue must advance story. Don’t tell readers what they already know and don’t waste time on pleasantries.
-Call to adventure
-Meeting with mentor
-Tests and obstacles
-Allies and enemies
-Seize sword of victory
-Back to normal life
Never stop editing and researching. Resolve inconsistencies, avoid information dump, and don’t lecture the reader. Set the book aside for a few months or give it to a friend to read. Continued…