Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Writer Wednesdays - Braided Stories


You’ve all heard of braided breads and French braided hair, but did you know stories need to be braided, too?

Braided stories should have three storylines, as each section of tresses in a plait. Writers who plod along on one story throughout the entire manuscript run the risk of writing a boring story. Readers need some unexpected happenings and this can be done a little at a time by incorporating three minor storylines into one larger manuscript.

You fold in layer by layer as the story progresses telling three smaller stories to keep the reader from losing interest. The reader likes to figure out plotlines before they actually get to the words that reveal them. What makes that practice interesting is the twist that overlaps storylines to surprise the reader.

How to braid your stories:

· Divide your story into threes

· Write each one separately

· Incorporate in story.

Some writers do this instinctively. Braiding makes your stories come alive. It connects the reader to your characters.

Let’s look at some examples of braiding.

#1 Harry Potter

Braid A – orphan boy neglected by his aunt and uncle. (family relationships)

Braid B – attends a secret wizard school (school relationships)

Braid C - discovers he is the nemesis if a most evil wizard (good vs. evil)

#2 Twilight

Braid A – teen-age girl is the mediator between divorced parents and moves in with her father on the other side of the country (family relationships)

Braid B – attends a new school, where she becomes mesmerized by a strange boy (school relationships)

Braid C – makes friends with the son of her father’s friend, complicating her relationship in Braid B

#3 Rock Star Santa

Braid A – Santa and his rowdy reindeer band play a Christmas Eve concert

Braid B – Boy wakes and thinks he was dreaming

Braid C – Boy finds clues that he really was a Santa’s Rock Concert

So get your story threads separated, start at the top and overlap until you come to the end. Secure with a climax and satisfying end.


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