Chapter 20

Structuring a Longer Work of Fiction

In This Chapter

arrow Using chapters and parts effectively

arrow Intertwining plots and subplots

arrow Experimenting with structure

All products – whether they’re enormous skyscrapers or small coffee tables – are built with an underlying supporting structure. Otherwise, they crumble to the ground. Your stories are no different. In order for your creative writing to be comprehensible to readers, your stories and novels need a solid, clear framework. However, you may not actually construct this until you have a working draft, so don’t let the lack of structure hold you up in the early stages.

You can structure a narrative in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes you know from the beginning that you want to divide your book into two or three parts, or that you need a certain number of chapters. On other occasions you just write and arrange the structure later. Your preferred approach doesn’t matter as long as you end up with a well-structured book. In this chapter I look at some of the issues involved in structuring a longer piece of fiction, including handling different plots and subplots and even experimenting a little.

Dividing Your Work into Parts, ...

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