A = Assembly Required to write a good story

All I learned about writing from the village of bloggers.

That’s my theme for this A-Z Challenge.

Well, let’s be truthful. No way could I cover everything this amazing community has taught me since I began this journey. But I’m going to try.

A=Assembly Required

That’s the first thing I learned! Just like that bike at Christmas, or a bookcase from Ikea, or writing a book there is always some assembly required.

How many times have we groaned after seeing those dreaded words on a box?

Also, it pays to follow instructions.

Now if anyone knows me at all, they know I’m more of an eyeball-it type of person. Not a read instructions type of person.

I mean come on, with a good saw and hammer I can make anything fit. Who cares if I’ve got an extra screw or two left?


But I’ll admit writing is a bit different. And thanks to so many good writers and bloggers on the world-wide web, I’m getting better every day.

Yes, I’m still more of a pantster but I’m also learning how to structure my scenes better so that the bookcase won’t be lopsided. Nothing worse than having to shove a block under one edge to keep it upright.

So what did I learn about Assembly required, or in writer’s jargon, Structure required?

  • Assembling a story does not have to dismiss my spontaneity or pantster style of writing.
  • It’s okay to sit down and just write the first draft.
  • That structure can be as rigid or as flexible as I want. After all, I’m the author, this is a world of my creation.
  • Help is available at the end of my keyboard. Reach out and touch someone.
  • That I must assemble scenes, multiple story lines, and characters into a mosaic of that become the story.
  • Then let an editor tear it down because I left out a screw or two and then I must reassemble it all over again.

When and if I’ve a beautiful finished and polished manuscript…..

  • It’s time to assemble the physical book.

Yes, some assembly required to be a writer.

More reading on story structure.

Story Structure in Short Stories
10 Simple Keys to Effective Plot Structure
The Secrets of Story Structure (Complete Series)

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


18 thoughts on “A = Assembly Required to write a good story

  1. Great piece, Jean. It’s good to read that other people work like I do – blurt the first draft onto paper then assemble it into some sort of order afterwards. Although I think I plan a bit better each time I start something new. Hopefully, anyway. Looking forward to your next piece tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean – Just wanted to say thanks for linking to my article on Structure – and tell you I agree completely with your bullet points. Your readers might also be interested in my article on the 5 Key Turning Points of All Successful Screenplays (http://www.storymastery.com/story/screenplay-structure-five-key-turning-points-successful-scripts/). I realize you’re primarily a novelist, but these same turning points (without the percentages) are essential to fiction as well as movie writing.
    Thanks again –
    Michael Hauge

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My novel is still a work in progress, sigh. The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn. However, my next children’s book should be out soon. Thanks for stopping by and leaving more great info for me! Can’t wait to curl up with a glass and read the article.


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