Inciting Event: Clay receives the tapes and begins listening, then goes to his friend Tony’s place and steals his cassette player. General readers just won’t find it credible or interesting if it doesn’t. The complication arises when the reaction is out of character to the action. First Pinch Point: Clay then listens to next five tapes.During one of the tapes, Clay sees a classmate he hasn’t seen for a while and who seems seemed down. View mdellert.author’s profile on Facebook, View @MdellertDotCom’s profile on Twitter, View michaeldellert’s profile on Pinterest, View Michael Dellert’s profile on LinkedIn, The Wedding of Eithne (Signed Print Edition), The Wedding of Eithne (Amazon Print Edition), Spectacular Settings: The Hills of the Cailech (WEP Entry). The reader will lose faith in your writing, and lose interest in your story. The internal structure is like the frame of a house, the beams, braces and other appurtenances inside the walls. Forging ahead with awful planning and shoddy construction will cause your roller-coaster to collapse on your poor riders. The only difference is that structure allows us to be concrete and confident in our creation of that arc, ensuring the shape always turns out perfectly. Surprisingly few people know what makes a good story or know how to explain it. But to make fiction credible, you must always remember a few simple rules: But what about those action-reaction exchanges that make perfectly good sense if only we know what the receiving character is thinking and feeling before reacting? The 3-Act Structure. Story structure is the key to a great script. You’ve likely heard of the 3-Act structure of storytelling: Or as anyone can usually explain it: The Beginning, Middle and End. Why is geography so important? Describe why this poem fits the three act structure. And structure has nothing to do with “cornflower blue in all the nineteens.”. How to plan your story structure with Excel. A good roof keeps the rain and snow out and the heat in. Why should we study it? Why structure is important for your play, film or story. The story structure elements help children identify the important parts of the story while the transition words help them connect ideas and prevent gaps in the story. To begin with, you need to understand how the same structural principles work on a line-by-line level in your writing. Your answer should use the words “motivation”, “conflict”, “change”, and “arc”. A span can only support so much weight and tension without additional bracing. Once structure is understood, many such architectural questions become irrelevant. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Harry convinces the Dursleys to let him tag along to the zoo for Dudley’s birthday, where he somehow frees a bored talking snake by making the glass vanish. Many writers balk at words like structure, form, or plot. Well, that makes perfect sense, now doesn’t it? It’s an internalization. Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 20+ years. Harry gets his own wand, meets the wizarding community, runs into antagonist Draco, locates Platform 9 ¾, travels to Hogwarts, makes his first true friend in Ron, gets sorted into Gryffindor, has magic lessons, and rides his first broomstick. At its most basic level, story structure relates to the beginning, middle, and end of your novel. But when was the last time you saw an office drone on the subway reading The Metamorphosis? We want visitors, so let’s try and avoid a situation where they’re trying to pull themselves out of the rubble of our weak story foundation. Harry, Ron and Hermione believe Snape is forcing Quirrell to steal the stone, but when they learn Hagrid has an illegal dragon’s egg, they also have an additional problem to worry about. Keeping the audience on the edge of their seat is crucial for any narrative to work properly. Actions must be something on the stage in the story “now,” something that could be seen or heard or otherwise perceived with the senses of the audience if you were to put the exchange on a theatre stage. Structure is arranging your story's elements into a specific chronological order to elicit … You need to understand structure in the larger elements, yes. This is perfectly fine, so long as you explain the bizarre action-reaction exchange within the next few paragraphs. Breathless with anticipation, we hurtle at last towards the much-awaited climax. I haven’t been on the subway lately. It is also the point at which your reader may decide to chuck your book aside if they’re not compelled enough, so set up those stakes and ensure your characters are worth caring about. If you’ve saved all the peaks for the end, someone will try and escape the roller-coaster before the ride’s even finished! If the character picks up a hot pan with his bare hand and doesn’t drop it, despite the evident sizzling of his own flesh? We have to just scratch our heads, shrug, and accept it as “one of those things.”. Structure presents only a shape—the curve of the story arc that we all recognize as vital to a novel’s success. Though the idea of quantifying something so creative can feel a bit soulless, it’s an excellent way to identify all the developing moments in your story. What next might happen after she does? ), 50—75% (Complications and higher stakes). The structure of any story has four important components i.e., plot, setting, character, and theme. A framework such as the Written Report Structure, above, will also allow you to break down the daunting task of writing a … Novels are told from first-person and third-person (and more rarely second-person), and from omniscient points of view and limited points of view, or follow the stream-of-consciousness through one or many characters’ thoughts. It seems to me that stories are so necessary because they serve so many critical functions that enable us to survive and thrive as humans, all at once. Reactions must also be external in the same way. Developing a structure or framework for your writing will ensure that the most important points are covered at the appropriate point in the writing. He can’t just walk onto the stage and punch Bill in the nose for no apparent reason. Because if you start the story with a dark and stormy night, there better be wind-tossed leaves, wet grass, and maybe a tree down in the yard the next morning. You might do this in order to goad the reader’s curiosity, or to build suspense. And while you get all kinds of rides, the ones that draw people back again and again are design to make you anticipate the ride. There are a wide variety of novel forms, from the earliest epistolary novels, told as a sequence of letters, to the diary-style novels in works such as Robinson Crusoe. Fortunately (for the architect and for you as a writer), many of the same principles of construction apply to both projects. The sequence of all the events is called a Plot.Event is a meaningful change in character’s life, the thing that happens during a story that transforms the world from one state into another.During a story, the main character(protagonist) goes through a series of events, each of them taking him closer to, or farther away from his Goal.This series of events culminates in Climax — the major, … My point is, if you want to write popular literature, cause-and-effect have to be evident to the reader. Conversely, we often see actions that warrant, indeed demand a reaction, and yet— nothing happens. But no matter what the form, most successful fiction today is based on a structure that uses a series of scenes that interconnect in a very clear way to form a long narrative with linear development from the posing of a story question at the outset to the answering of that question at the climax. An excerpt from The Romance of Eowain, narrated by Will Hughes: An excerpt from A Merchant's Tale, narrated by Will Hughes: So that we can continue to deliver great content, please consider making a donation to the Adventures. Last year, I attended the Sydney Writers’ Festival and listened to English author and creative writing lecturer, Scarlett Thomas, speak. The external form has to do with what’s been done with the structure, whether it be a colonial or a contemporary, large or small, one- or two-storied. For writers, this can be the most difficult act to write, and not just because it tends to be twice as big as Act 1 and 3. You might be a student trying to get a passing grade on an essay, a guy trying to text to a smart girl without humiliating yourself, an employee writing a company-wide memo, or a writer working on your next book. As a writer, you need structure so that your stories will “hang together” and make sense. The story structure is internal, as opposed to the form of the story, which is external. Structural engineering is crucial because it directly impacts the safety and durability of buildings and structures. And, yes, the weight, the demand, of this expectation can be daunting. Works like like Mrs. Dalloway, Ulysses, and Naked Lunch are bare for any real "plot" in the normal sense. The importance of plot is complicated when considering modernist literature and the movements that came after it. Actions must be external— that is, something that can be witnessed if the transaction were on a stage. (Ride the NYC subway sometime if you don’t believe me. Can the workings of luck, coincidence, fate, destiny, and happenstance have a place in your work? Technique best used with care surprised, ” is not an external?!, suffice it to say, “ change ”, and website this. Of story with awful planning and shoddy construction will cause your roller-coaster to collapse on your poor.! 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