This is intentional. Act 1 sets up your storyâs world and characters in a kind of teaser for what is to come. More importantly, structure helps you, as the writer, keep track of all the events so that chara… You must show the reactions. Many writers balk at words like structure, form, or plot. A writer’s prose style-voice, tone, diction, use of figurative language-determines how readers ‘hear’ and, to some extent, enjoy a story, but the internal structure, the organization of the parts, shapes the piece, makes it readable, and often determines its meaning. General readers just won’t find it credible or interesting if it doesn’t. It is also the point at which your reader may decide to chuck your book aside if theyâre not compelled enough, so set up those stakes and ensure your characters are worth caring about. He lives in the Greater New York City area. Thankfully, it’s easier to fix the broken structure of a story than a roller-coaster. Structural engineering is crucial because it directly impacts the safety and durability of buildings and structures. Inciting Event: Clay receives the tapes and begins listening, then goes to his friend Tony’s place and steals his cassette player. The two interrelate, but they’re not quite the same. Throughout this post, terms like “external” and “physical” have been used. Such folks seem to believe that this implies some type of formula or predetermined format as rigid as a paint-by-numbers portrait. And that teaserâthat promise of an awesome storyâcomes into play with the âinciting incidentâ. As the school year ends, he returns to the Dursleys with excitement for the future. Ultimately, Harry must progress alone and he ventures onwards to battle the villain. Geography deals with the study of landforms and the natural phenomena on Earth. Structure is a process, not a rigid format. But in popular storytelling, fiction must make more sense than real life. The reader will lose faith in your writing, and lose interest in your story. What is story structure? He can’t just walk onto the stage and punch Bill in the nose for no apparent reason. Here, we have a great plot twist where Harry realises that itsâs not Snape, but Quirrell who is trying to steal the stone. If John’s reason for punching Bill is the lingering sense of anger he’s been feeling over the last several days, you have to show John’s anger, his pacing around the room, his clenching and unclenching fists, his flaring nostrils and labored breathing. And structure has nothing to do with “cornflower blue in all the nineteens.”. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A good roof keeps the rain and snow out and the heat in. Re-watch Contagion, where a sizeable portion of the screen-time is devoted to all the things Gwyneth Paltrow did â every drinking glass she touched, every person she came in contact with â to contract the signature plague of the film’s premise. Once you’re good at this as a writer, you can make most anything happen in your story. Is it possible to write a moving fictional narrative that doesn’t rely on this kind of cause-and-effect? ‘Jesus, John, WTF? Because if you start the story with a dark and stormy night, there better be wind-tossed leaves, wet grass, and maybe a tree down in the yard the next morning. At its most basic level, story structure relates to the beginning, middle, and end of your novel. Harry and his friends are awarded house-points for their efforts, securing the win for Gryffindor in what is Harryâs best moment in life so far. The internal structure is like the frame of a ho… Reactions, too, must be external and physical. How to plan your story structure with Excel. For every action, you must show a reaction. And if it doesn’t, if there is no structural reason for the storm, if it doesn’t somehow advance your plot, then it’s just one of those damned things. The stakes are definitely raised with the growing sense of danger. “He clutched his nose between his hands and howled. But in real life a person might fall ill for no apparent reason. Sentence structure matters, no matter who you are. For every reaction, have you provided an immediate, external reaction? Again, in real life, causal actions aren’t always apparent. When reaction to action is not logical on the surface, you must ordinarily explain it. It doesn’t require an explanation. How do you motivate Charlotte to open that locked door? But when was the last time you saw an office drone on the subway reading The Metamorphosis? Why should we study it? Given such seemingly random meaninglessness in real life, people grow cynical, join the bad guys, or just plain give up. Analysing the plot structure of books can be a great exercise. The structure you choose for your storyshould help you align and sequence: 1. In literature, it’s called absurdism. As an example, letâs look at Harry Potter and the Philosopherâs Stone (or Sorcererâs, if you have the American version instead of the British). We’ve compiled six tips and strategies for teaching story structure in ways that help boost reading comprehension skills. Probably not recently. Structure is to a story what the skeleton is to the human body. If you describe a cause, it better have an effect. Actions must be externalâ that is, something that can be witnessed if the transaction were on a stage. He is currently working as an independent freelancer. This is the geometry and trigonometry of writing. It's not a formula, it's a guide. There are a wide variety of novel forms, from the earliest epistolary novels, told as a sequence of letters, to the diary-style novels in works such as Robinson Crusoe. Why is structure so important? Sometimes people burst into tears in the middle of an otherwise innocuous conversation, or suddenly reverse their course through the library. They function right now in the story, at this instant â the thrust that requires a parry, the question that requires an answer, the lightning bolt that makes Charlotte jump out of her shoes as she contemplates that locked door. Harry convinces the Dursleys to let him tag along to the zoo for Dudleyâs birthday, where he somehow frees a bored talking snake by making the glass vanish. Teaching through living, truth and story are *so important* yet we need to really examine what happens when someone’s role modeling gets a fair amount of attention. Glad you asked. Catch-22, Malone, Waiting for Godot, The Stranger, The Metamorphosis, these are only a few works of great literature in which s**t just happens for no reason. We want visitors, so let’s try and avoid a situation where they’re trying to pull themselves out of the rubble of our weak story foundation. But if a character picks up a hot pan with his bare hand, the internalization is pretty obvious, instinctive even. Breathless with anticipation, we hurtle at last towards the much-awaited climax. As a writer, you need structure so that your stories will “hang together” and make sense. Still, they persevere to save the Philosopherâs Stone, using their wits and friendship to bypass the magical security measures. The external form has to do with what’s been done with the structure, whether it be a colonial or a contemporary, large or small, one- or two-storied. As they retell the stories, students are encouraged to make use of sequencing words (first… Why Is Structural Engineering Important? And while you get all kinds of rides, the ones that draw people back again and again are design to make you anticipate the ride. But no matter what the form, most successful fiction today is based on a structure that uses a series of scenes that interconnect in a very clear way to form a long narrative with linear development from the posing of a story question at the outset to the answering of that question at the climax. On a personal level, if history is irrelevant or unimportant, then amnesia isn't really that much of a problem either. Last year, I attended the Sydney Writers’ Festival and listened to English author and creative writing lecturer, Scarlett Thomas, speak. After taking to the skies to get Nevilleâs Remembrall back from Draco, Harry is reprimanded by Professor McGonagall (and is subsequently made Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team! Your email address will not be published. To make sure your story holds up. From the moment you strap yourself in the seat, you are in a state of anticipation that the ride will be amazing. You might do this in order to goad the reader’s curiosity, or to build suspense. But why are stories so important to us? That might require some internalization presented to the reader, like so (internalization in bold): “Joe grabbed the hot pan with his bare hands. Because honestly, yes, even the most basic action-reaction exchanges require some kind of internal messaging in the mind and body of the receiving character. For example, 10% would be 2.23 x 10, which would be 23.3 (or roughly 23 pages). They want you to deliver on the promise that you set up in Act 1 and made them chase through Act 2. Stories and poems that have a familiar structure can create a supportive context for learning about the writing process, building students' background knowledge, and scaffolding their creation of original stories. That much of a house, the internalization is pretty obvious, instinctive even got off Bill felt.... 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