Moving on to part 3-Plotting and Structure

A new year, a new assignment. The course is getting so interesting but more involved and is quite a challenge. Assignment 2 went reasonably well and I got excellent constructive feedback from my tutor. No-one had talked about paragraph structure with me before when I have written a short story but once I started to rework my piece it made perfect sense and now my I’m moving forward with a bit more confidence.

Anyway, a bit less digressing and on with part 3.  This is all about Plot and Structure and my first exercise  was to plot out ‘Cinderella’ using some of the other characters and telling it from their point of view. This was a great exercise and it was easy to see how using a different point of view changes the structure of a plot significantly. With obvious character traits it was easy to imagine the Fairy Godmother concentrating on her ability to provide solutions  for problems using her magic skills. Her dilemma could be not being as good at magic spells as she thought, leaving with a fear of letting Cinderella down. The Stepmother’s story would be based on jealosy and greed and her need to be the centre of attention, learning the lesson and reforming by the end. The King’s story would concentrate his need to continue the family line with some fairly comic scenes of him trying to match make the prince with every princess in the land until Cinderella comes along.

Plotting out the stories has made me want to try wherever possible to plan and plot out future stories. In the past, I have always tended to do ‘clustering’ with words/phrases inspired by a single word or theme I have been given or have got from a newspaper, magazine etc. A picture tends to form in my head and then I start to freewrite longhand using several different ideas that have formed until one grabs me and I find that the writing starts to flow. Normally I would  then write 3 or 4 pages and then transfer to computer, editing as I type it up. This time I decided to try plotting the story at that point instead of leaping in and seeing where it took me.

Looking at the structure in a couple of the books I had read helped me to understand some of the reasons authors use structuring to , not only widen their audience, but to allow them better access to viewpoint. Viepoint plays a key role in storytelling and can sometimes be quite prohibitive when told from a single point of view. It makes me realise that multiple points of view can make what is happening take on  a more 3D and rounded picture which will draw the reader in, allowing them to live the story alongside the characters. It also helps with pace as a sudden change of viewpoint can slow things down and keep the reader in suspense about what is happening with the other character and allows the author to delay exposition. I’m not too sure how easy that will be to carry off without losing the interest of your reader.