Applying Structure

Autumn is in the air. The songbirds have started to leave my yellowing trees. I find my thoughts turning to back-to-school shopping (Yay! Pens and notebooks and paper!), outdoor projects, and delicious recipes like pumpkin pie oatmeal (or just pumpkin pie or just oatmeal). But I'm not ready to give up summer yet. I still have room to eat a few more salads and barbeque.

I've been struggling through this first draft. I thought I was stuck. Then I remembered my structure, and all became clear. What I'd been feeling was anticipation to get to the next act, and as soon as I asked myself what I needed to do to get there, I had my answer: apply the structure and figure it out. For this story, I'm using a simple four-part structure (or a three-act structure with a turning point midway through the second act. I don't know. I'm far, far from an expert): inciting incident, complications, confrontation, resolution. The beauty of this is it works for the story as a whole and for each individual scene. And for each act. Combine this with what I've been learning about character arcs* and there it was.

I know what I have to do.

*And that, as Hammy Hamster would say, is another story.