I have posted a new article about what I wished I would have known when I started writing. This was a continuation of the series of articles about structure. This is not the end-all-beat-all of what I wish I knew. There’s a bunch more where that came from. Writing’s not just all about grammar and how to string sentences together to form a story. It’s the art of how to string the words together to form a cohesive story that makes sense to a reader.
After learning all of these things, I find myself able to point out all of the structural points in a movie a hundred percent of the time. The one that always gives me trouble is finding the Midpoint or the mirror moment, but after a bit past the Midpoint, I figure it out.
Now, I know what some of you are going to say. “But Lee, I don’t want to corral myself into a cookie-cutter story.” Let me assure you that that is precisely what I was afraid. After having done it a few times, I can now safely say that it is far from being cookie-cutter or template or whatever it might be called. With structure, you have a base in which to tell your story. There is another sub-structure that you have. It is called a scene.
When you have your structure set up, you still have little boxes where you can play around. Your scene is the place where you can play within the bounds you set up. By that I mean, you set your scene in a specific location such as a character’s room. You’ve told yourself that you want a specific action to happen in said scene. You have certain items that need to be included in that scene as well. Now how you go about showing your scene and getting to your action still is up to your own imagination. A scene isn’t necessarily limited to 1 or 4 or 5 pages. It’s up to you how long you want this scene to go. Typically, my average scene length is about 1000 words (or four pages), but I’ve had scenes go to 2600 words (or nine pages). That’s a lot of words to play around with, if you ask me. A lot of wiggle room for a structure that seems to have specific points of interest. There are typical 60-100 scenes in a story (more in fantasy novel or epic novels).
See, there’s still creative freedom within a structured story. That’s the joy in it. The freedom of writing without trying to figure out where you are trying to go (if you are an Outliner) or the freedom of figuring out where you are going.
Well, I’ll try to keep up with the articles in hopes that it will help someone starting out with their first story or novel. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions I may be able to answer.