Story Structure

For some ungodly reason I decided to make as my writing goal for 2014 completing 4 wips. I Tweeted it for heavens sake. I’ve really set myself up this year.

In a previous post I highlight several author sites where I’ve found a lot of helpful information. (I’d put a link to it here, but I haven’t learned how yet).  But, as great as all this information has been, I’m still struggling to get my next book finished.

What’s the problem you ask?  Well, for one thing, I’m a procrastinator my nature.  It takes me frigging forever to write a book. Why? Because I lack organizational skills. So it seems flying by the seat of my pants isn’t going to cut it if I want to meet my goal.

While perusing my favorite sites for additional inspiration I came across Larry Brooks’ Storyfix.  His four-part story structure really seemed to resonate with me. I like the idea of breaking things down, learning what needs to be in your story and where to put it to make it flow. A place for everything and everything in its place.

But I realized this method was only a piece of the puzzle.  What I really needed to do was take a little bit of everything and put it together.

So I sat down on the floor with all my printouts spread out around me, a big roll of paper, and a handful of colorful markers and proceeded to build my story.  I drew a big circle (ala the hero’s journey & Dan Harmon’s circular story structure with eight steps http://tinyurl.com/yhcgdku), divided into 4 parts (Larry Brooks’ Storyfix http://tinyurl.com/mqcqt2), added scenes, plot points and pinch points.

I probably should have used pencil, because I kept moving to different parts to find just the right spot they needed to be. Still, it was pretty satisfying seeing everything coming together, meshing, flowing.

It’s not quite finished, but it’s getting there.  I just need to add chapter placement and rearrange a few scenes.

If I keep focused and stick to the plan I should be able to reach my goal.

But cross your fingers for me, just in case.

Maryanne

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dena Celeste
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 00:20:58

    Oh heavens, I understand this so well. I have such ideas, but getting from point A to B to C to Z is kind of a chore, and then there are so many shiny things that distract me from writing. This post has some awesome advice (that I plan to take advantage of), and I will definitely see about keeping up with your progress! Yay for getting your story plotted out!

    Reply

  2. Rebecca Rivard
    Jan 14, 2014 @ 22:46:50

    Good luck! That *is* a good idea. I’m also a pantser, and find tables and timelines helpful–but only after I figure out where the story is going, of course! This sounds like a larger version of the same thing, which I just might try.

    Reply

    • maryannebarsotti
      Jan 17, 2014 @ 17:43:01

      Hi Rebecca

      Yes, tables & timelines are good, too. Have you tried using a large desk top calendar to keep track of the days of your story? That’s next on my list of things to try. Good luck!

      Reply

  3. Teresa Cypher
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 13:59:04

    Good post. I’m busy today with wewriwa, but be back to read this later. 🙂

    Reply

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