Plot and Structure How to Shape Your Story

and Keep It Moving Forward 69

What Is a Plot? 69

Four Characteristics of a Plot 72

Building the Narrative Structure 79

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends 83

Chart: Narrative Structure 84

Scenes: The Building Blocks of a Plot 92

Stories without Plots 94

Exercises: Constructing a Plot 96

5. Setting and Atmosphere—How to Bring Readers into a Vivid Story World 99

Choosing Your Setting 101

Bringing Your Setting to Life 107

Tip Sheet: Three-Dimensional Settings 115

Exercises: Making a SettingVivid 118

6. Narrative Voice—How to Develop

Your Individual Voice As a Writer 121

What IsVoice? 122

Making Your Voice Stronger 124

Making Your Voice Your Own 132

Tip Sheet: Narrative Voice 134

Exercises: Discovering and Developing Your Voice 138

Appendix A: Suggested Reading—Exploring the

Realm of Short Stories 143

Appendix B: When Your Story Is Written—A Quick

Guide to Submitting Manuscripts for Publication 147

Appendix C: How to Format Your Manuscript 153

Index 157

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