I used to hate the words ‘story structure’. I had always tried to ignore the concept and just ‘do my own thing’, writing whatever came into my head, or ‘pantsing’ if you will.
I regarded the idea of forcing my thoughts into such a formal format, or that they should be formatted at all with indignance and I suppose I was a little bit arrogant too. I believed (and I still do to some extent) that creativity should just be free-flowing and not bogged down with formal structure.
As with outlining, I was very wrong. You see, I hadn’t ever tried structuring my stories, and I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to. Then, a few years ago I watched a video on youtube of a woman who was explaining the whole concept of story structure, and she was making a lot of sense, so I decided to (although somewhat reluctantly) give it a try.
Now, there are a hundred gazillion ways to structure a story and, as I found out, they can vary quite considerably in complexity.
The simplest form that I had been able to find is called Freytag’s Pyramid. You can find a full explanation of it here on Wikipedia, but I’ll give you the gist:
Basically, I draw a pyramid on an A4 sheet of paper (landscape). Then I mark out all the fundamental points of a story. The one I draw has six of these: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.
Click here for an explanation of each of these.
Now that I understand what story structure is and what it’s for, I feel as though I had been missing out before. The first time I wrote with structure in mind, everything just seemed to click into place.
Why don’t you give it a try and see what you think?
As always, thank you for reading this if you made it to the bottom.
Until next time,
© 2017 GLT