From Story Idea to Story Summary
Once you create your one-sentence story idea, build out to a summary paragraph to include characters, main story points, and the climax. Expanding your story idea builds your story writing momentum.
Years ago Randy Ingermanson proposed a way to summarize your story highlighting the important pivots: three disasters plus an ending. Based on Aristotle’s three-act structure, the summary outlines the crucial events in the book.
From One Sentence to Five Sentences
Begin with the setup and go through the story to the end in five sentences.
This structure is the framework for your storyline and all the scenes that build your story.
How These Sentences Work For Mystery Writers
Seen through the lens of writing a mystery you can focus your sentences.
With this structure in place, start creating your scenes. As you brainstorm, the structure helps you find plot holes from places where you have yet to create a scene. As you write each scene the structure guides you toward moving the story forward.
There are many approaches to story structure. If this structure sequence doesn't fit your thinking, take a look at bestselling author Jerry Jenkins' Seven Story Structures Any Author Can Use. You may find a fit for structuring you mystery story idea.
Zara Altair writes mysteries set in ancient Italy. Her course for beginning writers Write A Killer Mystery is coming soon. Get on the notification list.
Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash
Zara Altair, Author
The puzzle of politics, the mystery of murder in ancient Italy. After Rome, before the Middle Ages, Italy belonged to the Ostrogoths.