I’ve asked a few writers now if they use story structure during their planning stages. I’m surprised to hear not many do, and some of those same people are shocked to think that I restrict myself from the freedom of writing by using an established structure when writing.
My view is that without structure, you’re creating blind. It’s like saying you’re a guitarist without ever knowing chords or notes. Whilst it is possible to continue to write without, it’s far better to be aware of it before you lose out to white paper syndrome.
Story structure began thousands of years ago. We’ve just only known in the last three thousand odd years that there is a definition to it.
Aristotle was the first to define structure by declaring every story to have three acts. A beginning, a middle and an end.
Joseph Campbell later wrote about the Hero’s Journey. Quite a take on mythology and the most revered author on the matter to date.
Whilst Jazz musician’s can create notes freely as they play, it is only pleasant to the ear due to them understanding the foundation and structure to playing in the same key that makes us enjoy their freedom so much.
So to the writers out there who believe they don’t need to know story structure… you have likely been following structure, unknown to it. Now take some time to learn about it and you’ll be better for it. So to your audience.