Structure in a story, whether fiction, nonfiction, short or long, has to do with integrity--wholeness. There is a whole and that whole is not visible or predictable to the reader but sensed by the reader. The result is something like giving a reader an experience of "gravity," which they will experience as your expertise and talent--and take the power of that for granted.
Now testing for the structural elements represents the best tool a writer can use to find that integrity of story. Furthermore testing for structure can often get a writer out of story trouble, especially when we hit a "wall" in continuing to develop a story.
Charlotte Cook, MFA, is a former publisher and acquisition editor who now works as a story editor. Her clients are often successfully published and have won awards and honorable mention for their work, including in Writer's Digest contests. She is a published writer as well, writing creative nonfiction and literary short stories. Her suggestions, examples and comments are considered practical and follow a simple guideline: compelling story, engaging characters, evocative world. Her Writer's Digest Tutorial "8 Things First-time Novelists Need to Avoid" was the number one tutorial of 2012.
During this 58-minute video tutorial, you'll discover tools to:
Move your story forward
Measure the effectiveness of the story arc
Trouble-shoot issues of pace and momentum
Understand how readers perceive gravity-like structure
Evaluating the effectiveness of the structural integrity of your story is an ongoing process within completing a story. No talk here of outlines before the fact, superimposing requirements that don't relate to the story arc. Instead this practical, reader-oriented approach might even result in the pitch and synopsis material you will need at a later date for agents, editors and publishers. Wouldn't that be a great by-product?