Saturday, September 10, 2011

Daughter on Story Structure

I wasn’t born knowing how to sort out a good story. My stories dump on me like a pile of junk in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. So, I’ve had to learn story structuring the hard way. Most helpful was the advice of Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet, and the Monomyth
My eldest daughter has been fascinated by all this and we have great fun picking apart books and movies together.  We’ll be watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and I’ll be weeping over Dobby’s last words before dying, “Such a beautiful place…to be with friends.”  And she’ll pipe up, “Whiff of death!  It’s the All is Lost moment!”  And I’m over there bawling and thinking she’s nuts.
So, anyway, we were talking about favorite books and movies a couple of weeks ago and she said something like, “Hey, the different books in the series are like different beats in a story structure.”  And I’m like “Huh?”  We proceeded to ‘beat out’ the Harry Potter series and we could see it.  Anyone else?  If so, this could help a lot of us who write series, I think.
If you're unfamiliar with what I mean by story structure and 'beats,' pop over to Blake Snyder's Tools  page, scroll down and click on the Beat Sheet.  Read that and come right back here.  I think you'll find it very useful, if you're a storyteller too.


Anonymous said...

I've never been able to do charts and cards and things that lay the plot out and dissect structure.

My brain works best on a more intuitive "sounds right, feels right" mode.

Definitely wish I could be more of a nuts & bolts plan it all out writer, though.

Rebecca Royce said...

I can't plot either. I find it gets in the way of my creativity.

Seleste said...

I wish I could use a plotting device like that. My problem is every time I try to utilize a specific "method" to plot, my brain shuts down right around the time I'm done with it and there's nothing left in me to actually write the story :(

Julie Particka (Open ID is being a pain and won't let me use either of my other accounts to post *cries*)

Kimber An said...

Thanks for popping in, everyone!

I learned to structure/plot this way out of desperation. Like I said, it does not come naturally to me. Some authors are just born knowing how to sort it all out and they don't even need to think about it much, if at all. Not me. However, I have four children. Yes, four! And Tendonitis. These two things really limit my time on the computer. But, I gotta write books and raise babies, both, in order to be happy. I just have to do it. I cannot be happy without both. So, in desperation I learned to do it so that I could maximize the short time I have on the computer, so I can have both Books and Babies in my life and live happily ever after.