Sunday, January 10, 2010

If You Build It, They Will Come...

Wow… Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But does it really work that way?

It reminds me of the story of a man who wanted to be a famous artist. Get his paintings into every house. But he wanted to paint something big, let his inner artist free. So, he began at one end of a two-mile wall and painted a mural all the way to the other end. Only one problem. What the aspiring artist failed to realize was that in order to have his paintings in every home and store, he was going to have to figure out a way to paint within the confines of a frame.

As authors, we too must—at least during the editing process—fit our books within the confines of a frame—a structure. To some, it might seem frustrating. But that framework is there to showcase your story and make those plot points stand out, where before they may have been hidden alongside random episodic scenes. It gives your story direction, purpose.

One book I’ve recently found is called Story Structure—Demystified by Larry Brooks. Although an ebook, this 126 page manual is an excellent resource that will guide you through the oftentimes frustrating process of plotting an effective storyline. Not only does it break it down into four critical parts, it defines when you should have major turning points, and gives examples from best-selling novels.

Interested but not sure if this is something that will really impact your writing? I’m the same way. Too many books and not enough money to buy them all. But on his website archives,, Mr. Brooks wrote a ten-part condensed version of his book. A great way to “test-drive” what’s in the book. Happy Building!

Storyfix--Post One

(As a footnote, I did purchase the ebook and have not been paid to blog on this. :0) )

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Stephanie, for joining our blogging group. This sounds like a good one. Scenes are the foundation alright.


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