Take Five: #20: Story structure

Take Five
Five-minute reads about writing
to help you with NaNoWriMo
Nov. 1 - Nov. 30, 2011
Courtesy: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)

#20: Story structure

Here we have a brief video clip on story structure. The writers involved are screenwriters, so they're specifically speaking about film scripts - but story structure is just as relevant in novels.

You'd just adjust the three-act structure from fitting 90-120 pages for a feature film, or 30-45 pages, in a television script, to occurring over 80,000-100,000 pages during a novel - but it's still the same structure and progression.

Steve Skrovan is a television writer and producer (Everybody Loves Raymond, Hot in Cleveland, others), and here's a quick excerpt of his advice from the clip, before you watch it:

Act I is the information you need to be able to tell the rest of the story. That act is over when all of that is set up and you've come to a turning point in your story, where the story then goes off. But the first act is the set-up.

Act II is the journey that takes place, that's kind of the meat of your story.

Act III then becomes the resolution of that.

With this in mind, there are additional details to take notes on in the clip - but the primary lesson today is recognizing how a story is constructed and being sure that you're giving a reader the information they need - and at the right time - to follow the story you're trying to tell.

Watch clip: Story Structure

About this series
The Take Five series is curated by Sasha Soren, author of Random Magic. You can find out more about the book here, if you like:

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