Friday, Oct 11, 2013

(Craft) For Best Results, Box Your Story

Box my story?  What are you talking about, MaryAnn?

I’m talking about writing your story in boxes.  Four boxes to be precise.

OOOOOOOOOOkay.  What exactly do you mean?

I mean that a story has four essential parts, and you need to keep those parts in mind when you write. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you put into each part only what goes into it.

I got the idea of boxes from Larry Brooks ( who, to my knowledge, first used the term to describe the parts of a story.

So, what are these four boxes?  They are:

  • The Beginning or the Setup (Box One)
  • The First Half of the Middle (Box Two)
  • The Second Half of the Middle (Box Three)
  • The Ending or Resolution (Box Four)

This breakdown is, essentially, the famous Three-Act Structure concept that originated with Aristotle.  I say it originated with God and reflects His triune nature.

Theology aside, however, the Three-Act Structure resonates with the human spirit and makes for a story that the reader (and the writer) knows is right.

Next time, we’ll talk a bit about what goes into each box of your story. If you don’t put the right elements into the right box, your story will not work. So learning what goes into what box is critically important.

See you next time!

Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

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