Structure is inherent in everything around us - think of our own lives, or of anything living on this planet (including the planet itself) and you’ll have a beginning, a middle and an end. Starting with myths and legends, down through folk tales, Greek tragedies and comedies and up to the modern novel, you’ll find the same structure exists. 

Stories have:
       a beginning (introduces setting, character & conflict)
       a middle (escalation of conflict leading to climax)
       an end (conflict resolution)
For example, in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men the beginning shows Lennie and George arriving at a new farm for work; the middle where they settle down and make friends - with Lenny’s friendship culminating in disaster; and a tragic ending where George has to kill Lenny to save him from a worse fate.

There are of course many novels where the dramatic action is dealt with differently. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway is a less obviously plot driven story, and the dramatic action, focusing on one day in Mrs. Dalloway’s life, is more subtle and internal. Woolf, as a Modernist writer, approaches time as a flow of successive events, where the meaning of a moment can only be realized in relation to that moment. She deftly demonstrates that dramatic arcs need not pivot around a grand sweeping event. The action can be small – yet its effect on a character can result in significant changes. 

Structure in a novel is the edifice on which you hang your story; it's something which is necessary, but should remain hidden in the background.
Writing Update.
I’ve been coasting along this week, editing a chapter every two days. At least I was until
I followed a link in a newsletter I subscribe to by Joanna Penn, and read a post by Russell Blake. I believe there is no one way to write – whatever works for you is the only rule anybody should follow – but when I read Blake had written twenty-two thrillers in thirty months, selling around 45,000 books in the last year or so, I had one of those, boy, I’d better knuckle down and work harder and faster moments. Every now and then, I realize I have to up my game if I want to achieve my goals. We'll see.

I probably should take the marketing aspect of writing more seriously than I've done so far. And with this end in mind, I’m working out how to make my Blogpress website look the way I want, as I'd like to reach more people. But I’m not holding my breath as this may take some time to come to fruition...

Today’s Haiku
I love that first hit
that jolt of caffeine – liquid

Useful Links
A great website full of helpful info for writers considering the self-publishing route.
A read of this post gives you an idea of what can be done!

Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku

To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.

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