Friday, February 18, 2022

Word Count Goals for the Three Acts of Your Novel, Memoir, or Nonfiction Book

I've come across many templates for structuring books. Structure has become one of my geek-out topics as a teacher, editor, and writer. I love knowing how close I am to a perfect structure for a work-in-progress, whatever "perfect" might mean, because then I know where I can bend or break the rules and still keep the reader involved.

You don't have to fear that your manuscript will become a cookie-cutter without spirit or uniqueness. Structure is only the underpinnings, not the flair and freshness each writer brings.

I've long used the storyboard for structure testing. Its beauty is in its flexibility--it uses both random and linear thinking as it builds. So if you suddenly want to bring in another idea, you can. You're not bound tight to a certain progression, as an outline requires.