I had a lovely talk this morning with Ania at the Campbelltown library. They are going to host an Author Talk, featuring, me. Date and time to be determined, but we’re looking at the October / November time frame.
The biggest challenge I have as a writer is getting visibility. I have 18 books to choose from, but (and I did the math) 99.999975% of the world’s population has no idea I write. My goal over the next twelve months is to lower that to 99.9975% (or better).
This will be my first library hosted Author Talk. I have a general idea of content, but I’d like to hear from readers.
What would you like to hear from an author at an Author Talk?
Let me know below.
In the meantime, here’s me talking about my books, and writing.
I asked ChatGPT to write a blog post about the importance of story structure. While not bad, I wouldn’t call it good.I don’t feel threatened.
Here it is (edited slightly for some really bad grammar I couldn’t abide):
Stories have been an essential part of human communication for thousands of years. From the earliest cave paintings to modern-day films, stories have served as a way to convey meaning, emotion, and information. However, the success of a story depends not only on its content but also on its structure. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of story structure and why it is crucial for any writer or storyteller to master.
What is Story Structure?
Story structure refers to how a story is organized and presented to its audience. It is the framework that gives a story its shape and coherence. A well-structured story has a clear beginning, middle, and end and follows a specific narrative arc that engages the audience and keeps them interested.
The Importance of Story Structure
It helps to create suspense and tension.
A well-structured story keeps the audience engaged by creating suspense and tension. It sets up the conflict, introduces the characters, and builds towards a climax that resolves the conflict. The audience is invested in the outcome, and the tension keeps them on the edge of their seats.
It makes the story easier to follow.
A story with a clear structure is easier for the audience to follow. It guides them through the narrative and helps them understand the relationships between the characters and events. This makes it easier for them to connect with the story and become emotionally invested in the outcome.
It gives the story coherence.
A story with a clear structure has a coherence that satisfies the audience. The events and characters are linked in a way that makes sense, and the resolution of the conflict feels earned. This coherence makes the story feel like a complete and satisfying experience.
It helps the writer to stay on track.
A clear story structure can also help the writer to stay on track. It provides a roadmap for the story and helps the writer avoid getting lost in the details. This can be particularly helpful when working on longer fiction pieces, such as novels, where it is easy to lose sight of the overall narrative.
Elements of Story Structure
There are several elements of story structure that writers should be familiar with:
The Beginning: This is where the story sets up the conflict and introduces the characters.
The Middle: This is where the story develops the conflict, and the characters face obstacles and challenges.
The Climax: This is the high point of the story, where the conflict is resolved.
The End: This is where the story wraps up, and the characters are changed by their experiences.
In addition to these elements, many stories have subplots and secondary conflicts that add depth and complexity to the narrative.
In conclusion, the importance of story structure cannot be overstated. A well-structured story is engaging, easy to follow, and satisfying for the audience. It also helps the writer to stay on track and avoid getting lost in the details. By mastering the elements of story structure, writers can create stories that captivate their audience and leave a lasting impression.
I am predisposed to structure in almost everything.
When I first started writing (Matt’s War — read about it here), I had no idea how traditional story structure worked. I knew there were three Acts, but frankly, I had no idea what each Act consisted of, how to transition between the Acts or how much of the story was made up by each Act.
I had finished Matts’s War’s first draft when I learned how all successful movies and books are structured.
Now I need to be clear, all stories and movies that follow a good structure aren’t successful. The story needs to be good and the characters compelling. But a good story with compelling characters but poorly structured won’t resonate with readers or viewers.
So if story structure is so important, you’d think everyone would jump on it, but some still believe the mere existence of structure means a story is cookie-cutter with no originality.
I mentioned I have a predisposition to structure. I’m an Engineer by education and training. We don’t build something until we have a plan, whether it’s a computer, bridge, or building.
I see story structure as a blueprint. A line drawing of the cabinet you want to make. It contains the necessary elements to make a functional cabinet but leaves a lot up to the cabinet maker (or author). The type of wood, the finish, the quality of the hinges, all of that is up to the maker.
Same with story structure. I go more into it here (and more will be added in the future).
When I learned of this, the scales fell from my eyes. I had to make massive structural edits to Matt’s War. It has some of my best reviews yet.
So to the story structure deniers, deny all you want, but pick any successful book or movie, and I will show you, in detail, its underlying structure.