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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Building Your Story From the Ground Up

Structure is one of the most important parts of any story, whether it be for the screen or the page. This essay was originally written with screenplays in mind, but I approach my novels in the exact same way. Let me explain:

A friend of mine had a house built on the side of a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful view. At night, he’d stand on his deck and look out at the valley spilling out below him, moonlight reflected on the surface of the ocean beyond.

The house itself was a marvel of wood and glass and filled with just about any convenience you can think of, fully automated by a mainframe computer. People who visited usually stood around wide-eyed and slack-jawed, completely amazed by the place. It was that impressive.

A few months after he moved in, my friend was walking barefoot across his carpet when he noticed an odd bump in the floor. He explored it with his toes, then crouched down and ran his hands along the bump. Alarmed, he pulled the carpet back and felt his stomach clutch up when he discovered a crack in the foundation that ran the entire width of the house – a crack that literally split the place in half.

Read more (courtesy Casting the Bones)

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