Structure – Door #1

Structure is the software for your imagination

 

Putting the story in the right order allows people to read it in the best way possible :

Beginning
Middle
End

 

Or as some people have:

Beginning
Muddle
End

 

Concept:

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

  • Pillars go deep into the ground
  • Cables suspend the bride

Act 1           |    Act 2      | Act 3
————-|————-|————-
Beginning|  Middle     | End

(just pretend that is a suspension bridge with road in the middle, pillars underneath, and steel cables on top please).

Info on how to create disturbance for your hero is below the cut.

Disturbance:

The story begins when you strike the match, not when you lay out the wood

 

`The cat sat on the mat` is not the beginning of a plot.

`The cat sat on the dog`s mat` is.

~ John Le Carre
The Wizard of Oz

  • Starts with Dorothy running down the road, looking over her shoulder

 

Gone with the Wind

  • Starts with Scarlet flirting at a bbq, then gets the news that Ashley is going to marry Melanie

 

Star Wars

  • Prologue with Darth Vader capturing Princess Leia
  • Then Luke with uncle buying droids, messing around with one and then gets Leia`s message:  `help me Obi Wan Kenbi, you are my only hope`

 

Opening sentences:

Even before the events in the supermarket, Jim Ironheart should have known that trouble was coming (Cold Fire)

~ Dean Koontz

 

The world outside the window was in flames.  The leaves on the pistachio trees shone fire-red and orange.  Mattie studied the early morning light.  She was lying on the side f the bed where her husband should have been sleeping

~ Anne Lamot – Blue Shoe
First person

  • Needs to have a distinctive voice
  • Have an attitude
  • Interesting enough to listen to
  • Eg catcher in the rye – opening sentence shows narrator is disturbed `know about my lousy childhood`

 

Doorway of No Return  #1

See Christopher Voegler`s work on heroes journey

 

Characters are comfortable, don’t want to leave the comfy chair in their home – need to push them through the doorway

Need to turn their world upside down, so they can`t go back to the comfortable world  (at least not the way they left it)

 

First doorway / first act:

1/4 way through a movie

1/5 way through a book

 

Wizard of Oz – when Dorothy gets to Oz

  • Symbolised by change to colour

 

Casablanca

  • Ilsa and Viktor walk into Rick`s Café Americain 1/4 through the movie

 

On the Waterfront

  • When Brando`s character goes to leave the dead man`s sister after saying he can`t help, but then stays with her afterall

 

Gone with the wind

Civil war breaks out 1/4 of the way into the movie

 

Author: Philippa

I make arty mixed-media things, & write fantastical things (with kissing), & do musical & dancing things, & play gaming things, & do weightlifting things, & organise fabulous event things. But mostly I wrangle cats. Renaissance woman.

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