Thursday, July 18, 2013
Storytelling Structure to Make a Book Brilliant
The best books take interesting approaches to storytelling. I recently received a submission from a new writer who naturally and successfully broke linear storytelling structure. As her memoir unfolded it wasn't the typical "...and I was born ... and died" approach. Yes, a story needs a beginning and an end. Her story was unique. She began with an opening that defined the theme in the book. She then fluidly moved to major life events. Guess what? Not in chronological order. She began building intrigue by providing her life story through defining events. As she did so, she opened questions to be answered and pull the reader forward -- and that is what you call a page-turner. The reader wonders okay how are we going to get back to this plot point? After building, for example, a chapter where she alludes to her own "death," she then successfully plunges back into her past and how this history makes her who she is now. Brilliant! So the point? Don't take a straight shot through your storytelling. Yes, we're taught in school a story has a beginning, middle and end, but how you get to each place isn't set in stone. Be creative. Be different. Just make sure it all pulls together and makes logical sense. Another great book in the 3L Publishing catalog that takes a leap of faith in structure is Vengeance is Now. Author Scott D. Roberts plays (successfully and brilliantly) with the structure and point of view, which resulted in this year's critic's darling. You can purchase Vengeance is Now on the 3L Publishing website or Amazon in paperback, Kindle or iBook and Nook.