Friday, February 27, 2015

Structuring for Nonfiction Books--How Do You Do It, So Your Reader Can Follow It?

We were taught in school a three-part structuring tool:  Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.

While this essay-structure helped me pass my high-school English classes, it never came in handy as I began writing books.  In fact, I had to unlearn that tool, pick up completely different ones.  No longer impressing a teacher, I had to impress my readers.  And a reader's mind gets bored with knowing what's coming.

This is obvious in fiction and memoir--we want to dive into the story, be surprised.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Structuring Phase--The Second Stage of Building a Book

This two-part post discusses the two phases of book building.  If you missed part 1, just scroll down.

How do you know you are in the structuring phase of building your book?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Gathering Phase and Structuring Phase--Two Stages of Building a Book

Writers who have published books know that there are two phases in the book-writing journey. They cycle back and forth during the time you’re planning, writing, and developing (editing) your book. They apply to all genres: fiction, memoir, and nonfiction.  

It’s good to know what phase you are currently in, so you approach your book-writing journey with the appropriate tools. Knowing your phase will also keep you from getting discouraged or overwhelmed.

Friday, February 6, 2015

How Do You Start Your Chapters for the Most Punch? Some Simple--and Surprising--Structure Tips for All Genres

Michelle from New Zealand watched my video on story structure and sent some questions about how to begin a story.  

Although Michelle writes short stories, this question is important for book writers too. 

"Some stories begin with a problem," she wrote, "and it is solved through several small events.  I can't find how the other stories might begin. "

There are essentially three ways to begin a story (or book).   
1.  Through characters
2.  Through a location (usually a location that is vital to the story and ends up being as strong as a character)
3.  Through what's called a "triggering" event