The Spine of Your Story

After you've determined what will happen to your main character in the climax and how your story will open in relationship to the climax, you really have the plot structure or spine of your story. This is the skeleton that holds your entire foundation together. The spine of your story is your structure that goes in a straight line from the opening to the climax.

Imagine an old fashioned clothesline which you're hanging your clothes on so they'll dry. Now visualize every scene you write as being attached to the spine of your story like each item of clothing is attached to a clothesline. Without the spine or structure you have no story, just unconnected scenes which become episodic. You need to understand the importance of finding the spine of your screenplay. It is the foundation of your well-structured writing.

After you find your story structure, you need to tell your story in a couple of sentences, as I discussed in the previous chapter. These sentences will become known as your story structure, which will give your script focus. As you start to write your story you will then relate each scene you write to this story structure by asking yourself if the scene you're about to write is connected to it.

Sometimes these few sentences are called your premise, your plot structure or your logline. You then write all the scenes directly related to these few sentences.

Here is an example of a logline from a recently completed screenplay that I co-wrote with Brenda Krantz.

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