About seven or eight years ago, somebody (and I can’t recall who) put forward a “mini-movie” approach to structuring your story.
Just jumping in here to say story structure does not remove creativity. It’s a set of guidelines, much as building design rules are (roof is on the top, windows on the outside walls, basement on the bottom, plumbing not exposed), and every house (except for those suburbs built in the last decade) are different. If you don’t want to use a structure, fine. I find it much easier to plot a story if I have a rough idea of where things should be. And if you say not all stories follow a structure, name one. I’ll show you the inherent structure in a future post.
The scheme is divided into eight roughly equal sections. The first two constitute Act 1, the middle four constitute Act 2, and the final two constitute Act 3. The guidelines for each are as follows:
A couple of dozen words each, offering guidance to the writer on the expected deliverable for each section of your story.
What do you think? I’ve found this handy when I first start thinking about the outline of a new book.
I wrote this after the last Nationals comp Amy and I went to. This site was subsequently hacked and destroyed (thanks to WordPress vulnerabilities I’ve since learned about).
The post was well received, so I’ve dug through the Way Back machine and recovered it:
We recently had an exciting week of bowling in Canberra (this was back in June 2019), where every single one of the Rockets did themselves proud. And over the course of the week, it occurred to me that my daughter has learned more than how to clean up a spare when she needs to. There are valuable life lessons learned from tenpin bowling:
Your first frame is not the game. A gutter ball with the first throw doesn’t mean a poor score. And a strike with the first ball doesn’t mean a good score. Never assume you know how something will end before it’s finished.
In conjunction with the first point, the only ball that counts is the one in your hands. Not the one you just threw, not the next game and not the next tournament. Don’t get ahead of yourself. And don’t beat yourself up about what has happened in the past. Roll with it. (See what I did there?)
Think before you do. Once you’ve let go of the ball, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change its path. Take the extra time to make a plan. It’s a good investment.
You will meet people of all shapes, sizes and disabilities when you bowl. You’re no better or worse than any of them.
Wait your turn. It’s not just tournament rules, it’s a good thing to do. And when the bowler beside you encroaches, let them. Step back and let them go. Pick your battles. There is absolutely no benefit in pushing something that doesn’t help anyone.
And finally, a seven-ten split is almost impossible for even the best bowler. Pick a pin.