If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!
If we’ve ever had a friend ramble or go off on tangents when describing a movie, we understand how story structure can help make stories more enjoyable. In other words, good story structure is an important element of good storytelling. Here’s how we can learn to analyze the structure of stories…
We’ve probably all come across “click bait” headlines that create a compulsion to click, but another click-worthy aspect of any content is simply the topic itself. For blog posts or books, learning what topics appeal to our readers can help us develop content.
My regular readers know that I’m a pantser, but I’m naturally a planner/plotter in the rest of my life. So when a reader asked me how to build a scene list from a beat sheet, I didn’t shudder and scream in horror. Instead for my plotter-loving friends and readers, I figured I’d put together a real answer.
Some authors are able to write coherent stories while drafting. Others put together words willy-nilly and end up with a story that doesn’t hold together. And still others plot but are just writing their chaos down in advance. For all, a strong sense of story structure would help them during planning, drafting, and/or revisions.
One of my most popular posts is for my Romance Beat Sheet, but one of my readers asked if I could create a Scrivener template to go along with the Romance Beat Sheet. Yes! If you’re a romance author and use Scrivener for drafting your stories, today’s post is for you.
Whatever happens in the Climax is often the reason we decided to write the story back when it was just a twinkle in our muse’s eye. But just before the beat of the Climax, our character experienced the Black Moment/Crisis, where they gave up. How do we get them to recommit to the story goals?
Stories with multiple major characters—with their own point-of-view (POV) scenes—can make story structure complicated. Do we have to make beat sheets for each character? As a romance author, I write with multiple POVs all the time, so let’s see if we can figure out how to make beat sheets work in those situations.
One technique for drafting or editing our stories into shape is using beat sheets, but it can be tricky to understand how to use them. Here’s a round-up beat sheet and story structure resources that might help us understand beat sheets.
Is a Catalyst the same thing as an Inciting Incident? (Answer: Yes.) How do I know? It’s not because there’s a secret cheat sheet with translations for every beat sheet term. *smile* If we know the functions beats fulfill in a story, we’ll always know where a story event belongs on a beat sheet.