Are you ready? Because I’m writing this while I have a fever, which means it might be a weird, wild ride.
A lot of the writers I teach get really freaked out about structure. They go on multiple craft book journeys trying to find the structure that resonates with them, the one that gives them that beautiful a-ha moment.
Who can blame them?
Don’t we all want that beautiful a-ha moment?
Here is the simplest structure choice. Ready?
You have a character.
Your character has a problem.
How will she solve it?
Make her try to solve it.
Make her fail.
Make her try to solve it again.
Make her fail again.
Do this until near the end (¾’s in) and make everything seem absolutely hopeless.
Let her solve the damn problem.
Let her rejoice.
How many times should she try?
In our Western culture, we like the number three for some reason. I’m personally more of a fan of the number four. But we authors tend to give the main character three big attempts to solve her issue before we let her succeed. We’re mean like that.
Make it tougher
We call this the rising action, but basically it means that each time she tries to fix things, it should be harder, there should be more at risk, she should be more desperate and emotionally invested.
When the attempt fails, the tension gets a bit mellower until it rises again even higher for the second and third attempts. It becomes a pattern.
That’s It – The Simplest Plot Structure Ever
Really. It’s a pretty simple plot structure but it works. No, I didn’t mention inciting incidents and midpoints and other things, because this is the simple plot structure.
But, don’t forget that even with the simplest of plot structures, the point of the story is to have it make sense. When your character does something, let there be consequences that logically move us to the next part of the story. Remember cause and effect? That’s important to us writers.
This post was brought to you by Carrie’s fevered brain.
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