Story Structure Analysis – (or How I Plan to Keep Learning)

I am continually looking for ways to improve my craft of writing.

One of the things I am most grateful for when trying to write is that I always have new ideas. They’ve even started coming in my dreams, which honestly I find very freaky as I’ve never really gotten anything useful out of my dreams except entertainment, but that might be another blog post. But it is becoming easier to come up with stories and easier to find ways to change little story seeds into stories.

And one of the things that I think has helped is slowly gaining an understanding of story structure and it’s impact on telling a good story.

Maybe it’s the old adage, “When all you have is a hammer, all the world looks like a nail,” or of finding an application for new knowledge, but story structure has become my new way of understanding stories that I like.

My craft learning goal is to spend some time actively deconstructing stories that I like into the story structures I’m more familiar with. Thus far, that’s the 7-point Structure (Dan Wells did an awesome presentation on this), Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, and the Hollywood Formula as related by Lou Anders on the Writing Excuses Podcast.

I’m going to take a story or film that I enjoy and break it down using these elements to try and better understand what it is that I like about them. Hopefully, that will translate into a better ability to apply it to my own writing, both in outlining and revision.

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