10:03 pm
29 May 2023

Picking the right structure for your book

Start this difficult task by reading a lot of books, but the point is not to copy the structure of an already existing book (I promise that is pretty difficult to achieve), but you will soon realize that you can borrow a lot of elements from great books and still produce an unique book.

Different books will have different structures, so choose wisely. A novel by Dan Brown is different from a book by Mario Vargas Llosa the same way a log cabin is different from a hospital. The same basic principles are applied but very different methods and materials are used in the construction.

Most books about writing usually reduce things to a method (because it is much easier to shape in a 150 pages book). Many times that method favors the kind of approach of Dan Brown’s novels, because it is easier to see the structure in that kind of books. That way of doing things is neither good nor bad; it just might not be what your story needs.

There is not a unique way of book writing; there is not a foolproof recipe to become a best seller, not a magic page count or predefined set of events.  For every successful book that used a particular method there are thousands that have failed miserably by following the same.

Writing a scene that accomplishes more than one function (what is going on right now, the preparation for the future, what is affected by the past) requires interconnecting events; these links will start to appear more naturally with practice. Instead of thinking about what the plot should be, you will think about the basis to what is happening in the scene (cause, action, reaction and consequences). This way the first action performed by your character will lead to the next one and that to the next one, and so on.

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