Monday, April 22, 2013

Structure



How much attention do you pay to structure when writing your first draft? I don’t pay it too much after the outline is written. But once I start on the revising process structure becomes very important. A good structure in story will make it well timed, easy to read, and keep the reader engaged.
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler  (A Michael Wiese Productions Book) http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Journey-Mythic-Structure-3rd/dp/193290736X
is a must have in my library. I need it to refer back to at any given time when concentrating on the structure of my story. Every story has certain aspects that must be there to be meaningful and worthwhile to the reader and to you as the writer.  In the Writer’s Journey the author has laid out the Stages of the hero’s journey. He does it basically for screenwriting while also pointing out that it is for any writing. I use the hero’s journey as an outline for the story itself, any story. It’s my blueprint.
Let me know what you think? What do you do to structure your stories?

8 comments:

  1. Structure plays an enormously important part in my novels - even at first draft stage. I rarely work in a linear style. I'll have to pop back and watch the video because I'm listening to #2 son reading.

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    1. And # 2 son comes first of course! How else will he learn how important reading is if you aren't there to encourage him?! I think of my outline as the "tentative" structure in the first draft. After that I get serious about it.

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  2. Lisa, you and I are definitely on the same wavelength!I chose screenwriting and structure today. I've just ordered Writers Journey, it looks great. I'm still undecided about structure. For short stories I just write them and let the structure come later but with novels I'm always worried about spending a lot of time on a project that then doesn't have the wow factor it needs to keep readers reading.

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    1. I think you're right, short stories have to be structured a bit differently because you use less words. But they still need the three stages, beginning, middle and end, right? I'm glad you ordered the Writer's Journey. I really appreciate the way he sets things out. I guess my brain works well with his teaching style. And boy do I hear you on the worrying about the wow factor...

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  3. I try to follow some sort of structure through the whole process. Not that I can't switch things up, but it's more of an 'overall' outline type of thing and helps me to add and subtract from the story easier.

    I need to work on my outlining, too! :)

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    1. Yep. I hear you. You're what one blogger on A to Z called a "pantster" you know, flying by the seat of your pants! Me too especially in the first draft.

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  4. Greetings Lisa,

    Although my human isn't great at structure, I think I do pretty darned good. From the outset, my structure, my formulation is devised from my method writing. For instance, if I'm writing about a human, I become that human. Indeed, expect the unexpected.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Penny! So nice for you to leave your comment. I'm sure your human appreciates your talents and that you really help him out, especially if he isn't that good at structure. As a dog lover myself, I know how much help from our "little" friends can mean!

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