The Hired Wrist on Structure
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Hired Wrist

Building and sustaining memorable dramatic moments.

If character is the heart of story, then plot and structure is the body. The structure is the environment, the landscape, the dimension in which your characters work their way through the plot to its inevitable conclusion (yes, if you have done your work right, the conclusion of your plot must be inevitable even if it's a surprise ending). But we'll get to that later.

Plot and structure can function independently of each other. A plot can be revealed in flashback, it can move backwards from the end to the beginning, it can move around in time and place and dimension, but however you structure it, it must be both consistent and necessary for storytelling purposes. The classic film, Sunset Boulevard begins with Joe Gillis (William Holden) floating face down in Norma Desmond's (Gloria Swanson) swimming pool. As the dead man in the pool, Gillis narrates the story from his POV (point-of-view) from his end in the story to the beginning—a perfect marriage of plot, structure and character to best tell the story of how he ended up dead in the pool.

In Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's brilliant film, Memento, time and structure are totally bent and shuffled to the point where they become major characters in a remarkable character driven plot.

How about the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Future?

The Star Wars epic began with Chapter Four.

And can you possibly imagine Casablanca without flashbacks to Paris?

As I do with all of my students and clients, my analysis of your writing will critically examine the backbone and thrust of your plot and structure. I will offer you detailed notes, advice and suggestions on such topics as:

  • Story and structure
  • Style and substance
  • Creative plotting techniques
  • Building and sustaining memorable dramatic moments
  • And most important, cracking the code.

Conflict is Structure, Structure is story.-F. Scott Fitzgerald