Motivation Monday: Novel Structure

I’m currently plowing my way through KM Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel. There is a very good point early on that I want to address today: writers are afraid that structure will take the art out of their writing. There are writers who get away without consciously outlining their novels, including Stephen King. It seems to work okay for him. However, he’s also a prolific read and I’m sure he at least understands story structure. Story structure takes nothing away from art. Here are a few examples from other artforms: Architecture relies on buildings being structurally sound. Yet for every plain row house out there, there is a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright creation or an IM Pei glass pyramid. They both use structure; in fact, they have to understand it innately to create the buildings they do. But their structure only adds to their artistry. Michelangelo and da Vinci are both known to have studied human anatomy excessively to give their artwork more lifelike reality. They knew that the underlying structure of the human body is what influences the outward beauty. So why are writers so afraid that structure will destroy their art? “The three-act structure is intrinsic to the human brain’s model of…

Motivation Monday: Getting Past The First Chapter

I’m going to assume if you’re reading this you’ve taken me up on my challenge to write and publish an indie book. If you haven’t, go back and read the earlier posts first. I’m pretty sequential for a Figment. Doing things in order is always a good idea. You have an outline (or you’re humoring me and pretending). You know why you’re writing. You have a first chapter. And now… you’re bored. Or you think you’re blocked. Here’s my take on it: there is no such thing as Writer’s Block. Before I get a bunch of angry replies, let me clarify. People to get blocked, but it’s not truly writer’s block. Writer’s block is this mystical thing where your muse has deserted you. Sorry, cupcake. While there are real muses, they don’t cause writer’s block. Here are some reasons you can feel blocked, though: Your story is going in a dead-end direction. If your story isn’t making sense, your subconscious may be trying to tell you to turn it around. Break the rule about not editing and go back and find what isn’t working. If you can’t find it, get a trusted but brutally honest friend to tell you. You…