Have you ever wondered how to write a successful book on purpose and not by some lucky turn of events?
I know I have.
I’ve started so many stories that I never finished, it’s not even funny. And if storytelling wasn’t my passion, I would’ve ditched trying to write a book a long time ago. But seeing as it was one of the only ways I could get through this thing called ‘real’ life after high school, I kept going at it. Eventually, through a lot of trial and error and creative writing classes, I learned to finish a story. And maybe it’s not a problem for others,but it was a definite problem for me. So even though I wasn’t particularly pleased with the endings I wrote, I knew it was a step up.
But things changed rapidly about six months ago, when I decided to take writing seriously. That was when I started researching and looking for the secret to writing a successful book. The kind of book that made people stay up at night. That captured imaginations and opened up whole new worlds. The kind of book that would make me stop and read it on the spot. That’s when I stumbled on a website that changed my entire outlook on writing, Helping Writers Become Authors. And reading 5 Secrets of Story Structure by K.M. Weiland, in addition to what was provided on her website was truly eye-opening.
It’s hard to explain the epiphany I experienced. Suddenly, writing a book didn’t seem like this vague, directionless descent into the unknown (will I finish? will it be good?). The mist had cleared and I saw all the paths I could take, metaphorically speaking. Writing and re-writing became exciting. I finally managed to finish my first draft of an actual book (although now I call it the zero draft for reasons that will be explained in future posts) and start working on the second first draft.
I don’t know if this is sounding like some kind of an infomercial (because it’s not, you can find the book for free on the website) but bear with me. I know it’s strange to think that something as wild and imaginative like storytelling has a structure. Even K.M. Weiland, the author of the book, said that she thought it was like putting creativity into a “strait jacket of a preset structure created by some tweed-jacketed nincompoop of literature land” but that’s because story structure is widely misunderstood.
Mastering story structure includes learning about the inciting event, key point, first plot point, first pinch point, midpoint, second pinch point, third plot point, climax, climactic moment, and resolution (phew, that’s a lot to think about). However, being aware of all those parts of story structure gives you the tools to “fine tune” your own story into a masterpiece without having to tear your entire manuscript apart or forgetting about it until the next turn of the decade. That is to say, it’s very, very useful.
And did I mention useful?
Anyway, this book and every other piece of advice doled out on Helping Writers Become Authors website is honestly what changed my bewilderment at thought of finishing a story into actually finishing it. So if you also have a desire to write a book, and a good one at that, then I suggest you pick up 5 Secrets of Story Structure and then head on over to https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ for even more precious advice.
And I’ll be off to finish writing chapter 13.