Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel...

I love getting feedback on my Twitter stream. It helps me know what you guys are needing and how I can help.

The only time I cock my head and go 'huh?' is when I get negative feedback about structure.

I mean, structure? Some people even say they don't 'believe' in story structure.

Um... ok, #awkward. Story has structure. Whether you wish to use it as a guideline is up to you!

Now what I think these people are trying to tell me is that they fear I am somehow hampering or squashing their own creative input.

That somehow I want to take away their creative license and flatten their story into a cookie cutter novel.

Not true!

First off if you are doing great, then ignore my tips. Most of my tweets are aimed at people struggling to write and need as many tools in their toolbox as possible to help them when they get stuck.

Second of all... I would respectfully ask you to simply think about whether or not you would like to reinvent the wheel.

Archetypes and the mechanism of the Hero's Journey are what makes a story universal. They are simply the underpinnings of EVERY great story. But the underpinnings only. The rest is up to you.

Simply when I was struggling with writing and writing every day and then writing well every day, I found structure to have my back. Even now, if I feel stuck, I simply look to where I am in the story, trace my archtypes and go 'Oh! Crap, I got lost in the plot and forgot about story.' This usually gets me back on track immediately.

So feel free to ignore my advice about story structure and archtypes. No hard feelings :-)
However, if in the dark of night you simply run out of gas and can't figure out how to get your Hero from the Tentpole to the Climax... go ahead and read my blogs about Act I, Act II, and Act III.

Don't worry. I won't tell anyone :-)


  1. A story without structure and archtypes is like a writer without chocolate...I know...crazy. In the dark of night I can finish my book because I followed your advice :)

  2. Oooh just found another great writing blog to add to my collection!! Excellent content.

  3. I need to get a refresher on the Hero's Journey. All the little parts aren't clear enough in my mind. I find myself writing and then trying to figure out how it fits after the fact.

  4. Never understood bashing someones advice. If you don't agree or it's not for you, move on.