1. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England

    Structure, arks, and points

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by OurJud, Aug 11, 2016.

    I think the one thing above all I avoid thinking about in terms of novel writing is structure. Even at its most basic of beginning, middle and end, I find myself wondering what exactly is meant. Does this mean that a 100,000 word novel should be split equally into three, each of 33,000 words? What purpose does a 'middle' serve?

    Then if we move onto terms like story arc and the seven-point structure, things get even more complicated. Like before, do I need to be dividing each of these seven elements into 15,000-word segments?

    I admit that I'm doing none of these things in my novel. I'm just slogging along having things happen to my characters, with absolutely no clue as to whether they're following any kind of 'structure'. I'm just under 20,000 words in and, not counting the catalyst, approximately five main events have taken place. Is this too many, not enough. I just don't know.

    When do I need to start worrying about structure? Do I need to worry about it? It is possible that my chronological style of writing will mean the structure will take of itself?
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    You're overthinking this. As long as you keep things like conflict, resolution, etc. in mind when writing, the structure will naturally take care of itself.

    Also, just as a counter-example, a lot Chekhov's stories end just before the climax. Granted, these are stories and not novels, but the idea here is that you don't have to follow the traditional structure to be successfully. And you certainly don't need to divide your work up into three (or seven) equal parts.
     
    OurJud and Simpson17866 like this.
  3. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    1,285
    @OurJud The short answer is: No. The only recommendation - not rule - that I can think of off the top of my head (and I have no idea where I read this) is that the beginning should be about 15% of the narrative, the middle should be about 60%, and the ending should be about 25%.
     
    OurJud likes this.

Share This Page