Monday, January 30, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: SUPER STRUCTURE, by James Scott Bell

Good news! Just because you're a pantser doesn't mean that you'll get hives or strain some mental processes by thinking ahead to create structure for your novel.

It also doesn't mean that plotters are superior writers and have it easier than pantsers, so stop gloating right now.

Structure is necessary for your book to make sense, for the story to work, for readers to be satisfied. When structure crystallizes for you all depends on what type of writer you are -- before, during, during revisions, during the final polish. But the bottom line is that you need it eventually, or your book will languish in the slush pile, even if you publish it yourself.

James Scott Bell is a master teacher of writing principles and practices. Super Structure boils down to a checklist of events that MUST occur within your story for characters to grow and for action to make sense and for readers to close the book with a happy sigh -- even if it's a downer ending, weird as that may sound.

Yet just because there's a checklist doesn't mean it's formula. Think about this: formulas exist because they WORK. It's the application that proves the skill and talent of the writer.

He explains through the process what each step means, and how to set up for those changes, the transitions from the main character's ordinary world into the world of change and growth and learning, facing challenges, making choices, and coming out the other end. Yeah, easy to talk about, but putting that into practice is a little harder. With Bell's help, it's a little easier. Now to put it into practice.

No comments:

Post a Comment