I’m very much a believer that writers must find the methods that work best for them. But just as a musician must first understand something about the structure of music (rhythm, tempo, scales, etc.) to be able to invent and improvise, so, too, must a story writer have some understanding of the structure of story.
My previous article featured a list of novel structure resources. Having combed through that list, I found some common ground among the various paradigms I investigated. This post features a video in which I walk through the plot points I saw over and over again in my research.
We don’t turn to story to escape reality. We turn to story to navigate reality.
To understand the substance of story and how it performs, you need to view your work from the inside out, from the center of your character, looking out at the world through your character’s eyes, experiencing the story as if you were the living character yourself.
There’s a lot of writing advice out there. It is not difficult to find. It is also not difficult to feel overwhelmed by it all and, consequently, a bit inadequate as a writer. If you’re like me, you may question yourself on occasion. Am I doing this right? Should I be waking up at 4:00am every morning to write for three hours? Should I be outlining using the hero’s journey? My God, do I need to tweet?