Friday, 18 November 2011

Writing tips - structure


When it comes to writing there are various structures that can be followed. A conventional structure is covered on this Writers' Village blog post, How to write a gripping story. Then there is Nigel Watts' 'Eight-Point Arc' which breaks things down further. For another approach consider Randy Ingermanson's 'Snowflake Method'. Any of these can be used either to get started, or to map an existing story or novel against in order to see what the 'shape' of the structure is. One caveat - if everyone followed prescriptive structures then there would not be as much variety in literature, so unless you always want to follow a formula then don't feel you have to consider these for every work.



Peter Halasz has created the Writing Cheatsheet where he crammed his writing notes onto a single piece of paper. It includes many notes on structure amongst the tips and summaries, so is definitely worth a look.

There is a structure of a different kind in this Open University interactive tool - an attempt to make connections between a number of 20th century authors. As an antidote to random Internet surfing it is at least a form of displacement activity connected to writing, and you could use it to find authors with some connection to ones you have read, broadening your reading experience and giving you new ideas as you analyse the structure of their work.
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4 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Snowflake method is very useful in developing the outline of the story. Moreover, it's principles can be used also in writing an info ebook which is explained here: http://productcreationblog.com/419/how-to-plan-and-write-your-ebook-with-the-modified-snowflake-method/

    Regards,

    Geraldine

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  2. Thanks for the link, Geraldine, your blog is really useful. All the best, Karl

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  3. Karl, thanks for pointing this out to me from my blog. It's very useful stuff.

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  4. No problem! Dear readers - Ethan's excellent blog can be found at http://ethanrussellerway.blogspot.com/

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