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Six Structural Tips to Know before Writing Your Story

Hemingway was an iconic American novelist and taught us brevity and economy of words was important to writing great literary fiction.  In addition to the words you choose, and the words you don’t choose, structure brings form and function to the over all story. Here are six tips to help you develop better pieces of literary fiction.

  • Know the structure of your conflict: Writing literary fiction is not simply a presentation of imaginary scenes and events. It is characters wrapped in conflict – physical, mental, or emotional — searching for resolution. To achieve such conflict you must place a reader in the scene through narration, and characters must change over time in thought or trait to a heightened understanding – enlightenment.  Though this process, a reader becomes engrossed in the character’s growth
  • Build change and discovery into your characters: Through the development of characters in your story, a reader’s mind is changed and he or she discovers something new. These moments of enlightenment are best described as decisive moments
  • Decide on what goal your story should achieve: Clearly articulating a goal for your story makes writing more targeted and readers are apt to enjoy your work. Remember while the structure of your story should not change drastically, the goal may change as you work through drafts. Don’t fret, this is normal.
  • Limitations are opportunities to be creativity: Many writers reject structure to the detriment of their craft, arguing that less restraints improve plot discovery and creativity over time. This is dead wrong. Structure does not diminish creativity, it enhances storytelling.
  • Be realistic about writing: The challenge with storytelling is finding the story in images and scenes, than capturing them in words. It is not randomly describing events as they come to your mind. The process is more deliberate.
  • Don’t elevate your prose: Elevated prose downplays action and drama as the source of reader satisfaction and involvement. This error usually arises from a lack of structure. It’s like over compensating for an inadequacy, that of good structure.

You should have noticed, structure is as important as the words used to tell a story. Without it, creativity is actually stunted, conflict is difficult to develop, and crystallizing your goal for writing becomes fuzz at best.