How to Structure a novelStructuring a novel
4 story structures that dominate novels
There are four components in all of them that can define the structure: environment, concept, character and events. Whilst each is present in every narrative, there is usually one that predominates the others. Therefore, the whole history structure is usually a matter of self-discovery. What is the most important part of the history?
This is the point that defines the structure of your history. Let's take each item in turn and consider the structure that would be needed if this were the dominating item in your history. An environment is the universe - the globe, the community, the climate, the family, all of the things that arise during the creative time.
All stories have a background, but when a history is organized around one, the background is what the narrator is most concerned about. In Gulliver's journeys, for example, Jonathan Swift didn't matter if we cared about Gulliver as a char. Its whole meaning was that the public saw all the foreign countries in which Gulliver travelled and then compared the companies he found there with the British company in Swift's own time - and the companies of all historical readership, at all ages and in all places.
Its true history began the minute Gulliver came to the first of the mysterious countries in the books, and it ended when he came home. Environmental histories always follows this structure. The structure is most commonly found in sci-fi and phantasy, but also in other books. The Shogun of James Clavell, for example, is a history of the milieu:
It has been changed by his experience in Japan, but it does not remain - it is returning to its own time. There are other tales narrated along the way - for example the tale of the shadow - but regardless of how much we are involved in these happenings, the actual conclusion we are expecting at the end of the tale is the protagonist's leaving Japan.
While you design and create your own history, when you realise that it is most important to you to let a person investigate and experience the universe you have built, this structure is your best option. If you are making a history of the environment, your starting point is evident - when the figure comes - and the ending is just as clear: when it goes (or, in a variation, if it chooses not to go, to end the issue at home).
Tales like this are usually most efficient when they are seen from the perspective of the incoming person, as they will be amazed and interested in the same weird and wonderful (and horrible) things that captivate the reader. Tales of ideas are about the search and discovery of new information through the eye of personalities who are forced to make the discovery.
It is very easy to set up: Ideas begin with a ques-tion and end with an answer. The most secrets follows this structure. History begins when a felony occurs. "The tale ends when the felon's identities and motives are unveiled. A similar structure is quite usual in the field of conjecture.
It all starts with a question: It is narrated from the point of views of a Christian who thinks that this must have been a conscious act of God to break a fine civilisation, to give a signal to the Three Kings, and ends as soon as possible after the answer to the questions.
Charactors' histories concentrate on changing the roles of a person in the most important ones. Sure, in a certain way tales are almost always "about" one or more people. However, most tales are not about the character's personality, that is, it's not about who the person is.
They' re not characters' tales. It' always about what Indiana Jones does, but never about who he is. She is being frustrated in an attempt to become part of her wedding - but her part in the whole household and the whole global is being changed, and at the end of the history she is not who she was at the beginning.
This member of the marriage is a classical example of a history of characters. Like any other, the structure of a storyline is as straightforward. History begins the minute the protagonist in her current part becomes so unfortunate, eager or furious that she begins the transformation of herself; she ends when she either lives into a new part ( "happy or not") or gives up the fight and stays in the old part ( "happy or not").
There is something in the history of events that is not in the structure of the university. The whole worid is out of order. An earlier order - a "golden age" - is disturbed in all cases and the globe is on the move, a perilous place. Much of the history of events ends at the point where a new order is created or less frequently when the old order is reestablished or, most seldomly, when the rest of the rest of the world sinks into a state of confusion, when the law enforcement agencies are annihilated.
History does not begin at the point where the worid becomes disorder, but at the point where the person whose acts are decisive for the creation of the new order becomes entangled in the war. Nearly all fantasies and in many cases also most sci-fi films use the structure of the storyline. Instead, he begins by realizing Frodo's inner condition and then imposes on him the happenings of the universe and no longer explains the universe when Frodo must know right at the beginning.
The storyteller, not the position, is our leader in the global picture. It starts with the small part of the earth that he knows and understand and sees only as much of the disarray of the cosmos as he can. So when the whole worid is explained to us, we are already taking good charge of the human beings who are helping to save it.
T too many authors of events, especially epoxy phantasies, don't learnt this from Tolkien. Instead, they think that their readers cannot comprehend what is going on if they do not begin with a preface on the "world situation". Since we are not dealing with any of the protagonists on an emotional level, because we are not yet interested, the prologs are insignificant.
I' ve never - not even - realized that by skip the prolog I was missing some information I needed to get through the whole thing; and if I was reading the prolog, I've never - not even - found it interesting, useful or even understood. That is, authors of events do not make prologs.
You' ll be able to find out from Homer and Tolkien and all the other authors who have dealt with the game well. Start small and extend our visions to the whole globe. Unless you inform us first and take charge of the heroe, we won't be there to save the planet.
Do you need help compiling a sci-fi/fantasy novel that publishing houses will buy?