The online diary of a dreamer creating Contemporary Romantic Fiction - because Every Woman needs Love and Laughter in her Life.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

A different approach to Story Structure

Robert Browne has been taking a different slant on story structure, and I pick out a few salient points for my education and delight.

We're often reminded in how-to books that the typical story is broken into three acts:
Set-up, Confrontation, and Resolution.
But what if we were to refer to the three acts in this way: Seduction, Foreplay, and Climax.
We want to create a successful story with a satisfying ending -- one that keeps our partners wanting more -- we must pay careful attention to these three words.
The beginning of a story, any story, cannot and should not be referred to as anything other than a seduction.
It is our job to make our audience want us.
We must create characters that our audience won't mind, figuratively speaking, getting into bed with. Particularly the lead.
Is he or she someone we find attractive?
Does he have a problem or flaws we can relate to?
Are his life circumstances universal yet unique enough to pique our interest?
Mystery. Every story should be a mystery. Remember the girl in college the guys all wanted but knew so little about?
A big part of her allure was that hint of mystery she carried.
No matter what genre you're writing in, you should never, never, never put all of your cards on the table at the beginning of the game.
Instead you must reveal them one at a time, each new card offering a clue to the mystery of our characters and their stories.
The third and most important element of seduction is giving your characters a goal.
And not just your lead.
Every single character you write should have a goal of some kind. Put two characters with opposing goals in a room and you have drama.
But the goal of your hero must be compelling enough to intrigue us and hold our interest.
In The Fugitive, Harrison Ford is wrongly convicted of killing his wife, escapes to find her killer, and soon discovers he's being hunted by a relentless cop who doesn't care whether or not Ford is guilty. All three elements of seduction are satisfied and guess what?
We're hooked.
'Every time you sit down to write, you must remember that your audience is your partner, your lover, and in order to make them happy you must seduce, thrill and, most importantly, satisfy.'
What's playing on my YouTube at the moment? Goldfrapp. [The video is mad. ]

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