So what do you need to tell your story? Structure. Conflict. Character. Clean writing. Sure, we all appreciate that well-written sentence that grabs us by the collar and punches us in the soul, but not every sentence needs to be that way. In fact, it would be pretty hard, if not impossible, to write an entire book like that. As long as you have a good story with the right components to get it across, all you really need is clean, functional writing to tell it. Let those lovely dramatic sentences fall where they have the most impact and concentrate on telling the story. Don’t get hooked on creating that narrative voice throughout your entire book.
Think of the big picture. The most important thing you need to support your story is structure. It will give your story a firm foundation and the architecture to pull it off. Every successful story has it, whether you personally enjoyed the book or not. Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, the Dresden Files… all these authors know how to build a story.
Fortunately, anyone can learn to use story structure. It may take practice to get it right like any craft, but once you understand how it can improve your writing, you’ll never go back to chance. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to outline… that’s just one type of process. Just like a house has to start with a concept and then a plan, so too your story must have a concept and a plan. It helps you make the most of your story… to get the most important plot points in the right places for the most impact. This structure will help build the momentum in the story until the right moment, to keep that big picture in place while the reader is focusing in on the details.
For the next few posts, we’ll be exploring this in depth, so stay tuned.