A child learns to use Lego bricks and builds a tower one brick on top of another. The older the child gets, the more he understands that interlocking the bricks makes a stronger structure. Her structures grow taller, sturdier, and more complex. So it is with understanding story structure. Scenes are the Lego bricks of story structure.
The lies, secrets, and scars of your characters will give your stories power. What makes the story work is that emotion that ties it all together.
When you start writing a story it can be a lot like panning a river for gold. When you put your pan into the river of ideas, you’ll get a lot of pebbles and sand and debris. You have to rock the pan back and forth until only the good stuff remains. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of fools gold found when panning for story ideas. If you don’t know structure your story you may end up with a lot of fools gold instead of a solid story. But wait, you say. I’m a pantser, I don’t plan my story. Whether you’re a pantser or a planner, you can construct a solid gold story. Forces of Antagonism One of the early things I do in constructing a story is to create what Robert McKee calls the Forces of Antagonism. This was a concept I struggled with for a long time. In his book, McKee says the forces of antagonism represent “the sum total of all forces that oppose the character’s will and desire.” Huh? He contends that the more powerful and complex the forces of antagonism are, the more realistic the character becomes. “THE PRINCIPLE OF ANTAGONISM: A protagonist and his […]