Every good story begins with some type of hook in the first chapter, where an unhappy situation of the main character's life is revealed. The following chapters depict the ups and downs of the character's journey to either success or failure, often depending on the type of person the character displays.
The first step is the main character decides to change their life, or someone else, or circumstance might make it for them. From there the character either accepts this challenge or not but makes a decision and takes actions to change some aspect of their life. This leads to a challenging journey of discovery. With each new decision, action, and outcome, the character will meet with more challenges where, again, they will either succeed (temporarily) of face defeat, regroup, and make another attempt or take another direction. The more emotional turmoil the character displays over these challenges, the more the reader identifies with that character and becomes more involved in the story.
The ending usually reflects on the beginning in some manner, and whatever changes are manifested in the story, the character either accepts how they have changed as a person or accepts the changes in their life.
Along the way, other characters will also affect the main character's emotions, drive, and the results of their efforts.
This all seems very simplistic, but while the story pattern remains similar, the story arc can change in infinite ways, which is what makes the writing original and makes the reading a pleasure. Further, all of this depends on the author's purpose and planning while writing the story which translates a simple plan into a difficult, time and thought consuming the experience.
Please visit the following author's websites to learn their opinion on this topic:
Anne de Gruchy
Dr. Bob Rich
Rhobin, you have certainly outlined the general pattern of a story. All we need now is to fill in the blanks...ReplyDelete
I should have read this post before I got into writing the book I'm currently formatting for release. For the longest time I struggled with the whole GMC for my hero and my heroine. It wasn't until I was done with what I thought was the final draft that I figure it out and then had to go back and rework it again. If only I'd considered what they were going to do to change their life of some aspect of it, that would have saved me a lot of messing around with no progress. It might seem simple, but sometimes you have to be hit up the side of the head with a "simple" 2x4 to get it.ReplyDelete
Well-thought-out post. I think you nailed it, and I like that you harken back to the story beginning at the end to make a complete circle. Makes for a satisfying read.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Rhobin for a very interesting post. It has some different points, which cause me to think. Your comment about 'challenging journey of discovery,' is an interesting way of thinking about middles. BeverleyReplyDelete