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It is All About the Arc

As of this past weekend, Emmett’s biographical story structure is in place.

Now can I start actually writing the book? I wish.

That gigantic story architecture/outline I shared with you two weeks earlier is comprehensive and in good order, but the outline now needs in-depth expansion. My next step is to break out each section of the book.

Basically, I will take each long butcher block page, and break the outlined sections down into subchapters. The more details I map out now, in advance of the writing, the smoother the writing. That has been my experience with other larger writing projects in the past, for what it is worth.

Of course, this means more butcher block paper on the walls! Dare I ask my dean for a larger office space just for the interim?

The good thing about taking the structure (as I shared here from an earlier post) a step further, is that this isn’t anything new. In fact, we can thank Aristotle for the tip: He called this structure the ‘dramatic arc’ for nonfiction and memoir. Here is a simple graphic of that arc, which dovetails nicely with the gigantic story architecture wallpaper hanging in my office.

"Stick with my arc, baby, and you can't go wrong." With apologies to Aristotle for paraphrasing. Image source:

“Stick with my arc, baby, and you can’t go wrong.” With apologies to Aristotle for paraphrasing his sage advice. Image source:

Originally, I found the story architecture lesson the author Larry Brooks’ website. You can see how he applied it effectively in his own story structure series lesson here.

Cool, eh?

Categories: Book Research Status

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Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus

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