Wednesday, November 09, 2005

STORY STRUCTURE

I have a good friend (waving to Camy) who probably has the keenest set of eyes for structural editing of anyone I know. She's got me interested in figuring out exactly what constitutes good story structure so that I can be sure my stories have it.

Until Camy and I began discussing some of this in detail, I honestly didn't have a clue what the definition of structure was. (Not a good thing since I'm heading into my 10th category or Novella length mss) So I've been reading up on a lot of James Scott Bell's articles. He has a book called Plot and Structure (ISBN: 158297294X) that I've been reading.

I noticed a strange thing. Without knowing what structure was, according to articles and this book, explaining what structure is, at least 7 of my mss have it. It's not perfect by any means, but it's there. The beginning, the middle, the end, and all the elements that should basically happen in each.

Now this freaked me out. How did this happen? The only explanation is that maybe it came from being an avid reader of authors who knew their craft.

If you'd like to know more about story structure, here are some helpful links.

www.jamesscottbell.com

www.jamesscottbell.com/tips.html

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/158297294X?v=glance

www.camytang.com


Happy structuring!

Squirrel

2 comments:

donna fleisher said...

How did it happen? Dats da gift, girlfriend! God's gifts are complete, even though we have to refine them and learn more about how to use them. And yeah, you're right too -- reading helps much. It lays out the rhythm of good story-telling structure and helps us apply it to our own stuff.

Fun task we've been given, huh. : )

take care!
donna fleisher

Camy Tang said...

Aw, thanks Squirly! :) But I do agree with you, the story I helped you write the pitch for already had that structure, and this was before James Scott Bell's book had come out yet. I'm hoping to put in a Late Night Chat application for the 2006 ACFW conference on structure. Wish me luck!
Camy