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Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story Kindle Edition
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When I'm writing and get stuck somewhere, I need something to jog me out of the hole. And it varies: I may get stuck at the beginning, the middle or the end. Or even during the process of brainstorming an idea just to determine if it's got enough story potential to bother with. Now, I'm more of a "pantser" than a "plotter" (if you write fiction, you know what I mean), but even I like to have a general bare-bones structure to guide me. I may scrap it and re-work it as I go, but if I don't have something to shoot for, I end up bogged down in the Dead Marshes with no way out.
Between JSB's "Plot and Structure", "Write Your Novel from the Middle" and this newest, "Super Structure", I've got the tools to get me going again. He packs these books full of examples from real books and movies. Seeing examples helps me a LOT. I also have in my library an array of his other books for specific issues like "Conflict and Suspense", "Dazzling Dialogue", "Revision & Self-Editing", but I reach for these books on structure during the whole process.
Super Structure zooms in on the very essence of what about the *form* of a story makes it engaging for readers. You'll want to earmark the chapter where he strips structure to the bare bones (the five "tent poles" as he calls them) and then describes each piece. On the Kindle version, the table of contents is perfect for jumping right to the spot I need help with.
You don't even have to be a super-organized, pre-planner type of writer to use his system. But if you are a "pantser" (as in, you work by the seat of your pants), you still need a direction to head toward at various points in your story. That is precisely what Bell is so good at providing for you, with examples from classic and popular literature and films, and plenty of wit and wisdom.
Whether you are planning a career as a writer, or you write for pleasure, or are simply a curious, involved reader, Super Structure is a valuable tool you'll want in your toolbox.
After reading, I deconstructed my current work-in-progress to see if I couldn't find my signposts. Most were already there, but a couple weren't. I was able to create the ones that weren't and strengthen (and re-home) a few, and feel strongly that by doing this I've strengthened my overall story.
Would recommend to all writers. Excellent, excellent book!
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