Tag Archives: Story Structure

How Do You Choose the Best Storytelling Structure For Your Story?

Beth Barany

May Member Webinar

May 12, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT 

How to choose the right structure for your story is a question that haunts most writers. Especially intuitive writers — pantsers — who tend to write organically.

Why does a story’s structure make writing it easier…or harder? When you find a storytelling structure that resonates with the kind of story you want to tell, the right structure stimulates your imagination.

Choosing the wrong structure can cause you to get stuck—because the structure works against you as you’re telling the story. You might mistake it for writer’s block. And spend weeks…or months…being stuck.

(Story structure is NOT plot. But story structure gives rise to plot.)

Join us for this NAMW webinar where we discuss “How to Choose Your Story’s Structure.”

In this webinar, you’ll learn the ins and outs of five powerful storytelling structures:

  • The Three-Act Structure
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The Virgin Archetypal Journey
  • The 5-Point Plot Structure
  • The Five Commandments of Storytelling

We’ll also discuss:

  • what kinds of stories each structure lends itself to
  • how each structure is related to the other four, and
  • how “obligatory scenes” fit into these structures. If you’ve tried to plot according to a traditional story structure but it hasn’t worked…

If your stories feel “off” but you can’t put your finger on why…

If you’ve been confused by the Hero’s Journey or three-act structure in the past…

…don’t miss out on this chance to master five powerful storytelling structures and take your stories to the next level!

 

ABOUT BETH BARANY

Beth Barany is a certified creativity coach, NLP Practitioner, and keynote speaker. She helps fiction writers get their writing done and out into the world via Barany School of Fiction and the Writer’s Fun Zone blog. She’s the bestselling author of The Writer’s Adventure Guide and Overcome Writer’s Block. Her most recent book for writers is Twitter For Authors.

Beth writes young adult fantasy and paranormal romance. Her young adult epic fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, now the first book in a trilogy, won the Grand Prize in the 2012 California Book Fiction Challenge. Check out her free 5-day Writer’s Motivation mini-course: http://bethbarany.com/5daycourse.htm.

 

5 Tips to Help You Write a Gripping Memoir

pamela-janePamela Jane

October Member Teleseminar

October 21, 2016

11 AM PDT    12 PM MDT    1 PM CDT   2 PM EDT

As memoir writers, we know that not only do we have to find the threads of memory and truth, we also must master classic principles of story structure in order to capture and hold the reader’s attention.  It’s a challenge to dig into our memory banks–we run into some surprises that we then have to process. And yet, learning story principles can help us with the healing and writing process in ways that may surprise you.

Pamela Jane’s presentation is designed to help you successfully integrate story principles into a powerful memoir to draw your readers into your story and keep them turning the pages.

What you will learn from the discussion:

  1. How to dig deep to find the bones (structure) of your story
  2. Ways to allow the theme to emerge (Clue:  The big mess you’re trying to get through so you can write you story is the story.)
  3. Techniques to write your way through painful memories
  4. Tips to identify conflict in your story–and what to do about it
  5. Finding your voice (Clue:  put on your mental pajamas!)

 

Biography

pamela-jane-bookPamela Jane is an essayist, writing coach, and author of over thirty books, from board books to memoir.  Story Circle Review called her new memoir, An Incredible Talent for Existing: A Writer’s Odyssey,  “A fine, five-star read.”  You can read an excerpt in The Writer and more reviews here.  She is also the author of Pride and Prejudice and Kitties: A Cat-Lover’s Romp Through Jane Austen’s Classic, which was featured in the NY Times The Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, among other places.  She is an essayist, a columnist for womensmemoirs.com, and blogger for The Huffington Post.

Websites

www.pamelajane.com

www.memoircoaching.com

Memoir Book Trailer

Twitter: @austencats

 

Recent Essays

JUST WAIT!  A Short Story Rejected in Grade School Becomes a Cause of Action

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Jane

Pamela Jane’s Children’s Books

New Memoir: An Incredible Talent for Existing: A Writer’s Story

Memoir Book Trailer

My New Huff Po Blog:

7 Things that Make Me Really Mad Beginning with the Bass Clef

Funniest Rejections of All Time (Huff Po)

Memoir Excerpt in The Writer

JUST WAIT!  A Short Story Rejected in Grade School Becomes a Cause of Action

Pride and Prejudice and Kitties

@austencats

Shape the Story Structure of your Memoir

 NAMW Member Telseminar with Jerry Waxler

January 24,2014  11 AM PST  12 MST  1 CST  2 EST

jerry_vertical2We are so happy to welcome back Jerry Waxler, an NAMW board member and veteran teacher of memoir writing in his community of Philadelphia, and here at the National Association of Memoir Writers. Jerry is going to teach his specialty workshop in creating story in February, but you can get a taste of what he will present here in this special member teleseminar.

When you remember your past, your memories meander, occurring in random order, leading in no particular direction. As a memoir writer, your goal is to fit the facts into the shape of a compelling and satisfying story. In this teleseminar, Jerry Waxler will help you achieve your writing goals by describing the arc of a story, and offer tips and examples to show how to apply these universal principles to your own unique journey. Come join the call to ask about your own story challenges.

For further instruction, sign up for Jerry’s four-session teleclass on this subject

What you will learn from the teleseminar

  • Why readers expect your memoir to follow the story structure
  • What a universal story structure is
  • Why different situations require a unique approach
  • How the theme of your memoir could suggest your own approach
  • How reading memoirs offers examples to help you write your own

 

Examples of memoirs with a variety of structures

Linda Joy Myers, Don’t Call me Mother (coming of age)

Cheryl Strayed, Wild (young adult. Externally it’s about a hike. Internally it’s about growing)

Sonia Marsh, Freeways to Flipflops (Midlife of a family. Their trip to Belize combines travel with personal development.)

David Berner, Accidental Lessons (Trying to reinvent himself later in life)

Boyd Lemon, Digging Deep (A story structured as a life review)

Martha Stettinius, Dementia Epidemic (the journey of caregiving for a failing mother)

 

Bio

Jerry Waxler, M.S., is an experienced memoir workshop leader and a member of the advisory board for the National Association of Memoir Writers. His blog contains hundreds of essays, interviews and book reviews about reading and writing memoirs. His book Memoir Revolution offers insights into the cultural trend and personal benefit of writing memoirs. Jerry teaches nonfiction writing at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Writing Conference.

Blog: http://www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog

Book: Memoir Revolution

Testimonials

Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful

Kathy Pooler