Chuck Wendig Critiques Your Story
Chuck Wendig serves up a thoughtful and accurate critique of your current work in progress, which he has not read. While doing so, he highlights the key points of progression that should occur in a story. Namely, illustrating how things keep getting worse until your protagonist figures out a real solution.
A story should look more like:
HEY LOOK A PROBLEM
I’M GONNA JUST GO AHEAD AND FIX THAT PROBLEM AND –
OH GOD I MADE IT WORSE
OH FUCK SOMEBODY ELSE IS MAKING IT WORSE TOO
WAIT I THINK I GOT THIS –
SHIT SHIT SHIT
FUCK FUCK FUCK
IT’S NOT JUST WORSE NOW BUT DIFFERENT
EVERYTHING IS COMPLICATED
ALL IS LOST
WAIT, IS THAT A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
IT IS BUT IT’S A VELOCIRAPTOR WITH A FLASHLIGHT IN ITS MOUTH
WAIT AN IDEA
I HAVE BEATEN THE VELOCIRAPTOR AND NOW I HAVE A FLASHLIGHT AND MY PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED IN PART BUT NOT TOO NEATLY BECAUSE TIDY, PAT ENDINGS MAKE STORY JESUS ANGRY, SO ANGRY THAT STORY JESUS GIVES EVERYONE MOUTH HERPES
— Chuck Wendig, In Which I Critique Your Story (That I Haven’t Read)
The whole article is full of great advice, but it was the story structure outline above that had me grinning.