Structure Reigns: Combining the elements of the story

Structure Rules: Combining the elements of the story

A time comes when you have built your character background and done as much research as feasible. It’s time to start writing the story. All of a sudden it all seems like too much. Combined, the character backgrounds are well over 100 pages. You’ve discovered the cool hand-held sundial that the First Century priest carries, you know the difference between Roman and Circassian saddles, etc.

Go back to your original outline. Read through the entire outline. Read through again and make notes about where character revelations happen, when a secondary character reveals what he knows about the heroine’s weakness, etc.

All the rest is going to be the iceberg that nobody sees. Only the tip is actually incorporated into your story. As you write, certain details will fit; others will fall away. This is a point in the writer’s process where your discretion and your ability to stay true to the story are very important.

Otherwise, your story will be jammed with details that don’t move the story forward. That means the reader/audience will get bored. She will put down the script possibly never to pick it up again. A member of the audience will leave to get popcorn. You do not want this to happen.

Know you did the best possible job in developing your characters and researching background. Use your structural outline and your scene element outline to stick to the story.

The reader doesn’t want to know if you are smart, or did a lot of background research, or know how a sociopath works. The reader wants a good story. Give it to him.

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