The Shape of Stories
I think about story shape a lot.
Apparently, I am not the only one. I found this video on the SFWA website of author Kurt Vonnegut talking about the shape of stories:
Sometimes I describe my writing process as building a creature from the inside out. In the first draft, I'm constructing the skeleton. Then I add muscles so it can move. Lungs so it can breathe. Heart so it can feel. And then last, I layer on the skin so that the reader doesn't see all the goop underneath.
But it's that first draft, the skeleton draft, where I am discovering the shape of the story.
My personal favorite story structure goes a little like this:
La-la-la. AHHHHH!!!! Oh, no. Oh, no. OH, NO!!! Yay? Yikes, yikes, YIKES! Phew. AHHHH!!!! Go, go, go! Wheeee!!! Ahhhh.... Smooch.
I wonder sometimes if my preference for story shape has been determined by the kind of books I read, OR if the kind of books I read (and write) is determined by my preference for a particular story shape...
What do you guys think? Is story shape something you notice as you read/write? Do you have a favorite story shape?