Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd
The structure you’re using for your story isn’t just helping you organize your plotting. It’s telling the audience what’s going to happen. Story structures make promises to audiences, and these audience expectations are, in large measure, outside of our control.
In this episode we talk about the expectations set by various story structures, and how we can make sure we use our structures to satisfy our audiences.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson
Liner Notes: We’ve done episodes on the M.I.C.E. Quotient, Seven Point Story Structure, The Hollywood Formula, and many, many more of the structures mentioned in this episode. We haven’t done any on Kishōtenketsu, but we probably should!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:01 — 14.7MB)
Look up these structures. Now, pick a favorite thing, sit down with it, and map it onto which structures it fits. BONUS points! Do this again with your least favorite thing.
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard
What makes something a novel, rather than just a serialized collection of stuff that happens? How do we use structure to turn collections of stuff into something more cohesive? What tools do we use to outline, map, and/or plan our novel writing?
Reference Note: “Scene and sequel” comes to us from Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer, first published in 1965 (52 years ago.)
Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:53 — 13.0MB)
Take a film or TV program, which you like, and which was NOT based on a book, and plot the novel that it would have been had it been a novel before being on screen.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley
How might you go about creating great outlines? There are many processes, and we cover several of them.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:46 — 14.3MB)
Take the list of events that you’re considering putting into your story. Create a list of scene types, and assign your events to these scenes.
If you’ve ever had difficulty outlining something, this episode might be a perfect fit for you. We discuss the Seven-Point Story Structure, an outlining system Dan uses in which the story moves forward along seven sequential points.
Dan originally acquired this from a role-playing book, but it also sees regular use in screenwriting. Dan walks us through the system, and we hold his feet to the fire on behalf of Lou Anders, who once privately confessed to Howard that he just couldn’t get this thing to work.
Here, without any flavor text, are the seven points:
- Plot Turn I
- Pinch I
- Pinch II
- Plot Turn II
While these are (obviously) not the only seven things that happen in your book, these are the key things that are working together to move you from hook to resolution.
After an explanation of the system, we brainstorm this on Dan’s “I.E.Demon” story in order to demonstrate the tool for you. Also, for Lou.
Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Enchanted, by Alethea Kontis, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Linkage: Dan Wells Seven-Point Story Structure on YouTube
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:15 — 13.2MB)
Try out the seven-point story structure for yourself. Outline something!