June 18, 2015

Recommended for Writers: Book Architecture by Stuart Horwitz

Book Architecture-coverI’m a big fan of Outlining, but I’m aware it’s not everyone’s bowl of candy.

Aside from the “I prefer to flounder about like a fish at the bottom of a row boat,” there’s the rather better argument that Outlining can crush every story into the same tin can. And the traditional 15-point Story Arc doesn’t really help when you’re juggling a large cast, a number of intertwined storylines or using flashbacks and other complicated temporal devices to tell a complex story.

But what’s the alternative?

Stuart Horwitz’s Book Architecture offers one way forward. I’ll discuss the method in more detail in my post tomorrow, “How To Write a Novel Without An Outline.”

As you’ll soon see, I don’t actually regard Horwitz’s method as antagonistic to the more common form of Outlining… more like Yin to Yang. Both methods are stronger together. It’s that possibility that I’ll explore in my post, “How to Use Reiteration in Romance,” later this month.

Buy Book Architecture and Blueprint Your Bestseller.

And guess what! If you join my Misque Writers Club, I will automatically enter your name in a drawing to win a signed & numbered print edition (one of a limited collector’s edition of 250) of Stuart Horwitz’s book.  Drawing ends midnight Saturday June 20.

Tara Maya

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Taryn Tyler - June 18, 2015 Reply

I like the idea of thinking about story structure as architecture. The question then becomes does form follow function or function follow form or are they somehow one and the same?

    Stuart Horwitz - June 18, 2015 Reply

    Great question, Taryn! Or is there some kind of interplay/tension between the two that is where the real source of creativity lies? That’s why writing ahead and making notes on the side work so well together, i think. And thanks for the post, Tara!~

Tara Maya - June 19, 2015 Reply

I think sometimes we see the form start to emerge as we write/develop the story, and then the way to proceed is to keep reenforcing that structure and pruning away the elements that we see (sometimes only after the fact) that are detracting from it.

    Stuart Horwitz - June 20, 2015 Reply

    Exactly right!…

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