I’m so excited for this class, so I’m glad people are letting me know already that they want to come! In teaching writing, some of you know that I put a lot of emphasis on movement. Which brings us to the title of this class: Write like water.
I find it helpful to keep in mind that your idea for the story’s structure should be fluid. Thinking of the structure as a container or the packaging for the story, also allows for the possibility of swapping out that container en route or during revision. If the structure you’re trying doesn’t meet the needs of the story, back up and rethink the structure. That’s different than coming up with a structure and then getting lazy and not following through. I’m talking about a total swap out.
Knowing when to keep or change the overall structure is all about balance. Get too loose and you lose your grip on the story. Get too locked in to making a structure work, and you can begin to force fit content into a predefined structure.
The ultimate goal is to find and follow the natural path or flow of your story. The goal is to avoid using an artificial structure because it is glitzy or you just like it. That doesn’t mean the structure has to be simplistic. It might be very complex, but it should be as simple as it can be to do its job effectively.
When thinking about structure, I like the image of a river because it’s sturdy, there are definable borders and walls, and yet it’s also flowy and curvy. It’s both strong and yet has inherent flexibility, and to me that’s one of the goals when thinking about your structure.
That’s why I think of figuring out a story’s optimal structure as finding the path of least resistance. If you watch water, it’s smart. It’s efficient. It doesn’t make things harder for itself. It wisely takes the path of least resistance. It flows downhill most easily. But given time, it carves a path through solid barriers, so it’s also really, really strong.
Another way to say this is that the truth is the easiest to remember. To me, finding the path of least resistance is like finding the honesty and authenticity in your story. Telling it in the most honest way you can, and ultimately that’s what will make the story its most compelling.
There’s more to say, so see you in class!
Here’s the link to register: https://zoom.us/…/regist…/u5Qqf-iqrjMjmiX38_c3VtGYp9KQrQcZQw.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom meeting.
XO Laurel Leigh
P.S.: Here’s a post from Cami Ostman of THE NARRATIVE PROJECT with more events for writers in 2020.