Nita, the Pop Song

I’m in the middle of rewriting Nita, breaking the scene down into beats and looking at the motifs and repetition, and I’m delighted to see that the scene has fallen into one of my favorite scene structures, the AABA structure, which is the basis of most pop songs. Then it occured to me that I’d never mentioned this before on Argh because it’s not a theory or a rule and because I’m complete idiot about music, so I’m reluctant to pontificate there. But the AABA structure can be so useful (for some scenes, not all, not a rule) that it’s a just good thing to know. Continue reading

AIBC: Going Postal: Structure

00004-Going Postal

Pratchett puts forty pounds of story in a five pound bag and then tightens the string. How does he do that without descending into chaos (if he does; he kinda likes chaos)?

I think a lot of it is that he always remembers whose story he’s telling. This may story may go all over the place, but it goes all over the place following Moist, who is worthy of being followed. While it does have a classic doppelganger protagonist and antagonist, it also follows the classic doppelganger structure: the protagonist learns and the antagonist doesn’t, so as the protagonist arcs, the antagonist falls behind. In this story character is structure. Continue reading

Person of Interest: “Asylum” and “YHWH” and the Shape of Story

Person of Interest Binge Logo

The last two episodes that make up the fourth season finale of Person of Interest, “Asylum” (Andy Callahan & Denise The) and “YHWH” (Dan Dietz and Greg Plageman), are another crisis point, which brings up the problem of the long running series: How much worse can things get without the turning point of the season finale being just one more horrible thing that happens to people we love? Continue reading

A Word About Curio

One of my worst habits is taking notes on graph paper (I like graph paper) and then losing the paper. Or making so many changes that the whole thing becomes meaningless. And as the words mount up, so does the paper. Then back in the computer I’m making sticky notes to myself, and long pages of notes that are just words that I never look at again.

This is not efficient. Curio is efficient. Continue reading

Book Done Yet: Practice Jumps & Plot Lines

I wrote yesterday about not spending much time on the beginning of a book because it’ll change once you get to the end, and I still think that’s true of the first scene unless I change something concrete in it, like a character’s name or the setting. But getting the first ten thousand words in line is also the beginning, the first ten percent (all numbers are rough estimates), roughly the first third of my first act is where most of my set-up has to happen (this is a Crusie Rule for Crusies only; YMMD). But I also have to move plot during that 10%. So after letting it sit for a couple of days, I went back to look at my first 10K on Nita’s book.

Continue reading