Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Structure for Life and Novels

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! What a crazy weekend. My internet was down because of a huge storm we got hit with and I missed my post yesterday! YIKES! Along with my eldest son graduating high school, we had quite a lot of excitement around the old household. Busy is as busy does, I suppose. Well, on to the post for today. We're gonna talk about structure. Both for your life and for your novels. Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

When you're writing that best-selling novel, one of the things you have to keep in mind is how you structure it. If it's going to be a trilogy, you have to have the beginning in the first book, the middle in the second, and the ending in the third. Like life, every novel has a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is repeated throughout everything we do. Each day begins, has a middle, and ends.

As humans, we thrive on structure. There are a number of ways you can repair it when it falls out of whack, but one thing you have to remember: Something is only as structured as the person putting it together. I suppose you remember a while back when I wrote a post for ChaBooCha on how to structure your writing day. If you didn't read it yet, you really should. It gives you simple ways to plan things out so you're never caught with your proverbial pants around your ankles.

Of course, every day is different; just like every novel is different. But if you're a linear person, chances are you won't have much trouble writing a linear or three act novel. Play to your strengths. I'm not saying if you're a person who's all over the place, you'll never be able to write a novel. What I'm getting at is maybe you aren't a linear structure type of person.

I've read some pretty great books that jump forward and backward through the story. While it's tricky (and you bet your ass I couldn't pull it off), it can be done.

Before you start writing, just like before you begin your day, decide what kind of structure you're going to use and stick with it. Are you going with a straight beginning to end? How about beginning to end and then back to events that occurred before the beginning ever happened? I've even read a novel that was written backward.

Generally, you want your character's doorway to appear sometime in the first third of the novel. But what if you skipped the doorway and just went right into the chaos it caused? Wouldn't that be something?

If your story is good but no one is loving it, your cohesion may be off. What's the glue that holds a story together? Structure. Think very hard about it before you put down the first word.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I'm still amazed by how many unique blog topics you come up with! And the best part, they are all so informative, great job!

    1. I try. Anything to help out my writer buds :) Thank you for the comment and the accolades :)


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