Tuesday, June 2, 2009

4 Points That Make A Story

Over on Argh Ink, Jennifer Crusie posted an interesting discussion on what a reader or movie goer really takes away from a story. She asserts that the structure of a story - the acts, the turning points, the black moment - is not what a reader really remembers about a book. It's something an author must constantly think about in order to keep her plot in line, but it's not what makes the reader love a story. You can read more about her theory here and her inspiration for the theory here.

She brings up a valid point. There are moments in a book that really capture a reader. And as a writer, I see those moments as being the best ones to write. I think they are the ones a writer looks back on and is most proud of. Those are the moments that MAKE a story. 

So it got me thinking - what are the four points in my current WIP? And should those moments be highlighted in a synopsis to a potential agent or editor?

Quickly thinking, here are my four favorite moments:

1. Olivia falls in love with Patrick during a knock down, drag out fight with his wife. 
2. Olivia's family - mother, father, Jeremy and Lucy - make a pact to help find Olivia a husband and the person who finds her a husband first gets a horse.
3. Olivia tracks down Patrick at the theater and confesses that she has written a book about him. 
4. The rose garden.

I see, very quickly, that all these moments are in Olivia's POV. This tells me something although I am not sure what. Several thoughts come to mind but the biggest one is that this is Olivia's story and Patrick is merely secondary. Do I want it that way? I don't know. 

Think of your favorite book or your current WIP. What four points make the story for you? And what do those four points tell you about your book, the book you are reading, and you as a person? Because I very much think that not everyone is going to have the same four points.

1 comment:

jon said...

you go girl. keep on writing funny stuff.