Significant moments to include in your novel
We wrap Chapter Three with a method to create structure that feels organic.
Love it or hate it, story involves structure.
There is a spectrum across which we can relate to structure, but it’s always there underneath. Depending on how you feel about it, this can convey hidden support or lurking.
Whenever I consider the way writing works, I like to look at a second art form for comparison. Let’s consider painting in this case. There is an entire spectrum of visual art as well, regarding structure. The works of Piet Mondrian or Picasso are fun to look at, as they each show the full range. On the one end, we have very true-to-life portraits and landscapes, and on the other, they’ve reduced expression to lines, shapes, colors and abstractions.
If we think about this in fiction, we’ve got very literary fiction on one end, where we may not see the structure as clearly, and then we have more convention-bound genre fiction at the other. In an airport thriller, we can feel where the story is going to go, but if we’ve chosen that book, it’s because we enjoy that familiarity. (Or because we’re stranded without enough reading material — perish the thought!)
This is a gross simplification of structure, but it is helpful to consider this spectrum to determine where you’d like your book to land. In some cases, if you’re writing a genre that readers expect to follow a particular structure, you’ll either have to stick with it or take great joy in breaking the rules and smashing expectations. Cross-genre writing is big now and a delicious arena to play in, after all.
Now that we’ve set the tone on structure and the spectrum of options, let’s return to the lists you made last time.
from Dream to Draft is a reader-supported publication. To receive full access, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial