Review of Noah Hawley’s “Before the Fall.”

Before the FallBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very special book. The author does 11 or 12 very fine character studies, weaving 2-3 plot lines into the story of ordinary people living their lives. Well, maybe some not so ordinary, like the two billionaires and the psychotic co-pilot.

But it’s the ordinary folks who turn out to be most interesting. Here’s a thought from one of the mothers: “Mothers exist to blunt the existence of loneliness of being a person. If that were true then her biggest maternal responsibility was simply companionship. You bring a child into this fractious chaotic world out of the heat of your womb and then spend the next 10 years working beside them while they figure out how to be a person.”

One plot revolves around the crash investigation: A mystery on par with the best cliff-hangers. The other follows the life of the main character, an unmarried forty-something painter. You drop into his life at a pivotal time for him and jump right into the angst thanks to Hawley’s excellent writing.

Definitely, read this book.

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Anatomy of a Best-Selling Story—Structure Part One

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Kristen Lamb's Blog

Structure Matters Structure Matters

Writers must understand structure if they hope to be successful. Yes, it might take five years to finish the first novel, but if we land a three book deal, we don’t have 15 years to turn in our books. Also, in the new paradigm of publishing, writers who produce more content have greater odds of making money at this writing thing.

Understanding structure helps us become faster, cleaner, better writers. Structure is essential to all stories, from screenplays to novels to epic space operas.

Plotters tend to do better with structure, but even pantsers (those writers who write by the seat of their pants) NEED to understand structure or revisions will be HELL. Structure is one of those boring topics like finance or taxes. It isn’t nearly as glamorous as creating characters or reading about ways to unleash our creative energy.

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I’ve run my 20 page Death Star Critique…

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