There are lots of fancy and complicated ways to figure out story structure.
There’s Save the Cat, the Snowflake Method, the Five-Act, the Four-Act, the Six-Act.
But sometimes all of those complicated methods bog some of our writer brains down.
So today we’re going to give you a super quick guide to story structure for your novel. You ready?
Name it. This does not have to be its forever name, just a way for you to find the computer file. It can be THE EVIL NOVEL THAT HAS NO NAME RIGHT NOW. That’s fine.
Find a hero. Name them. Put them in a jam or a bad place. Maybe they suck at making commitments? Maybe they need a promotion. Maybe they live under the stairs. Give them a problem.
Think about what has to occur in order for them to ovary up enough to try to deal with that problem.
Now decide what is going to change once that hero gets proactive and tries to deal with that problem or once they take action.
Are things different for our little hero now? How?
Okay. Something else needs to happen so that the story takes a turn or a veer to the right or left. What makes it go in another direction?
Make things worse for our poor hero. How are they worse?
Okay. If this is a positive change arc where the hero ends up in a better place, what is it that inspires them to make a big effort and go for that win?
What is the big win (positive change arc) or the big loss (negative change arc)
There you go, how to figure out your novel’s basic structure in nine easy steps? Do you feel heroic, writer? You should.
Writing Tip of the Pod
It’s okay to make it simple when it comes to story structure. It really is.
Dog Tip for Life
When your people turn your head and look at you and you realize you’ve been caught, it’s time to stop because then they just think you’re a creeper.
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 “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.