Video: Story Structure the Kurt Vonnegut Way

The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture once in which he discussed the shapes of stories. Stories of all types, he points out, have very nice curves that can be plotted on a chart. His thoughts apply to screenplays, novels, poems, and everything in between.

Learn from Vonnegut’s example. You may have a brilliant idea that you think breaks all the molds of what stories are supposed to be. Trust me — it doesn’t. Or if it truly does, it’s probably not a very compelling story.

Novice writers are always dead set on coming up with a new type of story, something that has never been done before. That’s not our job. That’s not any writer’s job. Create new characters, certainly, new battles to be fought, but don’t waste time and energy trying to restructure what a story is.

If you’re struggling with the structure of your story, here are a few more resources to help you plot it out:

One thought on “Video: Story Structure the Kurt Vonnegut Way

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  1. I agree. People who already have a story to write never stray from structure the way people who just want to write do. It’s like trying to live without gravity, food, air, meaning, love….–all those things we don’t invent, just live with, around and for.

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