Story Structure: the Ad Hoc and the Uncertain

So I’m writing a story again, go me. I’m actually writing stories all the time and there’s of course, the commission and the Big One hiding out in my Big Fear timeline that I don’t even know when it’s supposedly due. Ahem, anyway.

Then there’s this thing. I brainstormed it over the last two days basically and lo and behold! a story! I know how it’s supposed to end and I know all the big emotional stuff going on through the two big mains and absolutely no clue how much of the backstory’s going in or how to organize any of it.

Yeah, so thoughts about structure. I’ve never been big on the idea of this straightforward plot nonsense. It just really doesn’t quite work for me. I’m far more into the business of structuring an emotional journey. And right now, I know absolutely the emotional journey I’m going to throw these characters through, but how that’s going to play out for the reader is a whole different ballgame.

There’s backstory, the first. There’s backstory, the second. There’s present time over a longer period of time where the two mains meet and one gets over her natural skepticism and one gets over (or at least finds more peace with) his overwhelming longstanding grief and then there’s the wrap-up for those two.

I’m absolutely not going to write three stories and marry them, so good luck to me figuring out how much of this stuff is needed.

Plus main storyline invites some meta and in-world nonstandard texts, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea for me to get sidetracked by that.

In short, I’m gonna do the thing I do when I’m writing about a universe I know too much about: I’m going to write the main story as if the reader knows everything I do. Then good luck to future me editing in all the pieces necessary to understand.

What kind of structure does one plan for a three in one story? In my case, as little as possible.

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