Monday, June 21, 2010
Posted by Tambra
I'm gearing up teaching my online classes for the year and I thought I'd post about storytelling structure. I cover this topic in my Basics of Romance Writing and Characterization and Plot workshops.
Some of you know how much I love writing books by the late Jack M. Bickham and if you do, too you'll recognize this information.
A story is more than a jumble of words on the page. For anyone serious about their writing, this aspect of the craft needs to be understood and implemented.
Information from Jack M. Bickham and Dwight Swain
Storytelling structure provides a life-like reading experience. To achieve this read through these check points and see if you have all the needed elements. I may have included this information elsewhere but this is so important, I’m probably repeating myself.
1. It is lived moment-by-moment, with no summary. Developed through stimulus and response.
2. It is lived from a singled viewpoint.
3. It is lived now.
4. It is lived with the knowledge that what we do has results.
*All novels are written in scene and sequel.
Scene Pattern: goal, conflict, disaster.
Scene as above in the storytelling structure is ACTION. Scene provides excitement, involvement but it has structure. The goal is clear, specific and attainable now.
Every scene starts with a goal and the goal statement raises a scene question in the reader’s mind.
Sequel Pattern: Emotion, quandary, decision. Once a decision is made and acted upon it leads you right back into scene.
Sequel allows summary, transition, skipped time, logic with emotion and characterization.
The next time you're reading a book or watching a movie, see if you can spot scene and sequel and how the writer utilized this to the best effect.
Tambra Kendall/Keelia Greer