The Importance of Structure

The day I saw past my own limitations was the day I learned about structure. I was stuck trying to write stories about things I dreamt of, however, I would never finish them. Those dreams were just interesting, exciting and sometimes invigorating moments, but moments are not complete stories. A complete story requires structure.

The need for structure was a major blind spot for me which is comical considering I knew the value of having structure. I served in the military right after high school. I got married soon thereafter and raised to two great kids. I worked in corporate environments for most of my adult life. All these things require structure to be successful.

Structure is to us what structure is to the house in which we live. It’s the framework on which everything else hangs

I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling and storytellers. I wanted to be a storyteller, so I wrote. I wrote stories when I was a kid. I made up stories for my children when they were kids. They’re grown now and I’m still writing stories, but I’ve never felt like they were complete. I’ve never felt like the written story matched the dream. That’s was until I stumbled across a book that talked about structure like it was a mathematical problem.

The book is titled, Save the Cat, and it’s by Blake Snyder. It’s marketed towards screenwriters and I’m no screenwriter but the parts about structure made all the sense in the world.

People would tell me I’m a writer and I would respond with “No I’m not. I’m just someone who writes.” But not anymore. Now I know how to structure my stories.

 “Writers write. Dreamers talk about it.”  Jerry B. Jenkins

A proper structure can benefit all aspects of our lives, from our families, and our careers, to our businesses and even our nation. So, if you’re missing the mark like I was, take a hard look at your structure.

Maybe it’s even time for you to write your story! I like to think that we all have at least one great story in us.



Check out my latest children’s eBook Series

Caiti and Kelp: A Green Day, A Simple Plan, The Spin Doctors, A Tortoise saves the Day

Will Caiti survive being bullied? Will Kelp overcome his fears? Animals don’t complain about the world, they adapt. This series offers an in-depth look into the lives of two young tortoises living in the Mojave Desert. We join them on a journey to satisfy their Basic, Psychological and Self-Fulfillment needs. The stories offer important life lessons for children of all ages although it’s written in a style appealing to 4-10 years old girls and boys. Parents, grandparents and caregivers alike will find that the lessons are useful to aid in discussing important issues kids are dealing with today.

Published by Chessley James

Writer and storyteller as well as the author of the Caiti and Kelp series of children's books

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