found many of the points helpful, and some helpful reminders.
Here are some of my faves, but I highly encourage you to go over
to his site and read the original post.
2. THINK OF IT AS STORY ARCHITECTURE
Structure serves story; story does not serve structure. A cathedral
is built toward certain considerations: the beauty of God, the
presence of God’s story, the need for acoustics, the accommodation
of seating, the sacrificial altar, the DJ booth, and so on. You design
a structure to highlight the type of story you’re telling. Using a non-
linear structure in a mystery story is so that you maximize on the
uncertainty and use the rejiggered narrative to create suspense.
Structure has purpose. Structure is where art and craft collide.
9. OMNE TRIUM PERFECTUM
Loosely translated, “Every set of three is complete.” Even if you
ignore all other structural components, this is a good one to keep
an eye on — the Rule of Threes suggests that all aspects of your
story should have at least three beats. Anything that has any value
or importance should be touched on three times and, further, evolve
a little bit each time. Every character arc, ever act, every scene,
every setting, every motif or theme, needs you the storyteller to
call it back at least three times.
|By Wonil Suh|
10. THE POWER OF THE PIVOT
The story must from time to time pivot — as the saying goes, the
tiger must change his stripes. This is true of characters, too. Or the
world and its rules. Change is a critical element to storytelling, but
you cannot change aspects wildly and completely. It must be
gradual and believable, moving only a single phase shift over, the
way water becomes ice — it’s an expected and believable shift. It’s
why I prefer to think of this and call it a pivot. That word intimates
a turn of the body, not a dizzying backflip. This could mean an
evolution of conflict, a revelation of new information, a major
character life change. Any major shift in the story will do.
14. FOR EVERY STORY, A STRUCTURE
Every story demands a different structure. No universal structure
exists. It’s why that mopey old saw about there being only seven plots
or some bullshit is, well, bullshit. If you distill them down to their
barest (and in many ways most meaningless) essence, sure, that’s true.
But the art is in the arrangement. The structure you build around the
plot to support the story is where the elegance lies.
24. TEND TO YOUR ORGANIC STORY GARDEN
Writing without structure is a challenge equivalent to writing with
structure — if you do it right, you get something that feels organic and
unexpected. If you do it poorly, you’ll end up with the storytelling
equivalent of the Winchester House: doors that never open, stairways
that end in walls, rooms that serve little purpose. If one method’s not
working? Duh, try the other. Which leads me to…
25. THE FINAL WORD
If the application of structure helps you tell a better tale: use it. If you
find it artificial and it only hampers your efforts: kick it in the mouth and
chuck it down an open manhole cover. This stuff isn’t here to oppress
you — it’s a tool for when you need it and invisible when you don’t.
Some stories will call for the strong spine of structure. Some stories need
to be altogether hazier, stranger, less pin-down-able. Just know that if
you’re having some trouble grasping how the plot moves from one piece t
o another, it might be time to take a gander at borrowing from the many
structural storytelling examples that exist.