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Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane Cleland

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Chapter Two

Structure is King

The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.

—Saint Augustine

Frame Your Plot With Structure

Structure is an organizing principle that once set will help you develop and write your stories. Structures can be linear or nonlinear, simple or complex, drifting or charging in and out of time and place, featuring any number of perspectives and points of view. Different stories lend themselves to different structures, and there is no right or wrong decision. The only mistake you can make is having no structure at all.

I know too well the downside of deciding structure doesn’t matter. The first novel I wrote, Exposed, suffered from a lack of architecture. Exposed was a mystery featuring a private ...

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