Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work! – a two-day read for me – has something useful for writers aside from its inspirational self-help advice. The section titled, “Structure is Everything,” includes nine different descriptions or graphs of story structures. They range from abstract models to Kurt Vonnegut’s graphs of three specific stories.
While I’m loathe to blindly follow a formula, it is useful to compare the narrative I’m writing to successful ones and to consider revisions as a result. Luckily, Kafka didn’t follow a standard, fairy tale approach in writing “Metamorphosis,” as Vonnegut’s hilarious (to me) graph makes clear.