Which structure?

Which structure?

Every one of us has a story to tell and every one of those stories is unique. Even if the ‘experiences’ appear similar, the author’s voice, their point of view and the themes they identify in the telling of their story, guarantees that uniqueness. Another differentiator in the writing of our story – specifically Memoir – is the narrative structure used. 

Narrative structure is an aspect of the writing process that must be considered from the very beginning. So how do you work out which structure is best for your Memoir? The answer is – it depends on the story you wish to tell.

If your story is mainly in chronological order – starting at point A, passing through point B before arriving at point C, then chances are ‘Linear’ is the structure for you.

However, if you have a story within a story, you may prefer a Framed structure. If you wish to intertwine two characters or two viewpoints then you may be looking at a Braided structure.

This post isn’t intended to drill down deeply on the matter – simply to raise your awareness that this is something you need to consider before you get started.

Think about the story you wish to tell. Do you know where you wish to begin? Do you know where your story ends? Do you use flashbacks or memories? 

The one piece of advice I would give you is if this is your first book, keep it simple. Linear is often the easiest and most effective because you are taking the reader on that journey – in a straight line. That said, if you are confident and willing to work at it, you can dramatically change the story you are telling, simply by changing the structure.

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