At its most basic a story’s components are these – a beginning, a middle, an end.
The beginning is the situation or set up.
The middle are the complications.
The end is the resolution.
Our lives are like this too. We begin in certain circumstances. We live and encounter complications and then we end.
But even within that simplified construction there are divisions. There are vertical stories and linear stories, which is a fancier way of saying stories that are character driven or plot driven.
Linear – plot driven
Vertical – character driven.
But the key word is up there twice and that’s – driven. We drive the stories we write and we also have to drive the stories that we live, controlling our own destiny so that we can handle the murky middles and complications and so that by the time we get to the resolution, we can feel satisfied by who we are and what we’ve done.
We tend to think of stories as either or. They are plot driven or they are character driven, but the truth is that most stories are intertwined.
And then there’s drama and melodrama. I think people can be roughly categorized as these types, too, but we can oscillate between the two.
A drama is usually more realistic. People will ponder things. The set might be a bit depressing or quirky or dull because – well, because real life involves these things, too.
A melodrama usually involves a chase sequence. The scenery rushes by quickly. There are things – all the things – happening.
What kind of story you’re writing is an important first step to think about even if you’re a writer who doesn’t outline ahead of time. What kind of life you’re living? That’s an even more important thing to think about honestly.
So what are you? Are you drama? Or are you melodrama? Are you linear or vertical? Do you oscillate between them all?
Writing Tip of the Pod:
Think about stuff.
Dog Tip for Life:
Be the drama or melodrama or middle-drama that you want to be? Also, it’s okay to be a drug cocktail.
The New York Post article we reference in the podcast is by Lindsay Putnam.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
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IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
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