Understanding Story Structure
This workshop will address some of the common structural issues found in manuscripts by would-be editors and publishers. While there is no right story structure, there are tools and strategies that writers can learn to use to find the best possible structure for their story. This requires a clear understanding of the story itself. This workshop with Laurel Cohn helps writers identify the ‘vital organs’ in their work: the story essence, the major dramatic question and the central event.
Using short texts that will be distributed for all to read (fiction and non-fiction), we will practise identifying these vital organs and discussing their approaches to aspects of story structure (including backstory/exposition). Visual strategies such as storyboarding are also introduced to help writers understand what the current structure of their draft is and how to strengthen it.
Expected Learning Outcomes
By the end of the workshop participants will have:
- An understanding of what story structure is and why it is important.
- Specific tools and strategies to strengthen the story structure.
- Practise with using the tools and strategies discussed.
- Pen and paper or preferred device for writing. Please ensure your device is charged.
- Participants are invited to bring works-in-progress which can be used for exercises during the workshop.
About the tutor
Dr Laurel Cohn is a developmental editor with a PhD in literary and cultural studies, and she’s passionate about communication and the power of stories in our lives. Since the late 1980s she has been helping writers prepare their work for publication. She also works with publishers, businesses and community organisations, and is a popular […]