By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio
Didn’t see that coming?
I lucked out in grad school. A handful of my professors weren’t allergic to plot. They understood and explained the deep value of narrative structure, traditional and experimental.
Often, workshops focus on the finished draft with little mention of process. Strategizing itself is sometimes met with suspicion. But still, some of my deepest insights into story came from sessions where my mentors addressed the scaffolding of story, the blueprint, even before it was written. We worked through faults in story logic and rifts in causality, the “contract with the reader,” dips in interest and the fundamental importance of the turn, the rhetoric of character action, the setups, the payoffs.