How To Map Your Story

As promised a few posts ago I am getting back to the Creative Writing business. Also, as promised is the post on How To Map Your Story.

There is a strong possibility that you already know how to map a story. I was forced to learn all about it in high school. Rising Action. Climax. Falling Action. But I never really considered using it as an outline for my own stories. Duh right?

But, there is also a strong possibility that you haven’t really heard about how to map a story (yours or others) or maybe you did learn in school but forgot. Never fear! I have drawn you an awesome diagram!

Awesome right? I can’t take all the credit though. I do want to mention that this awesome diagram is heavily based on the one that Nancy Dodd did in the January 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest (my new favorite magazine). I like to think that the diagram is pretty self explanatory. The only issue is that you might not be able to read my handwriting. If that’s the case then, I’m sorry!
So, how can this help you map out your own story? Well, it shows that any story (short or long) is made up of certain elements. You need to have these elements in order to have a story that takes a solid shape and keeps readers interested (however, like everything in writing I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule — like the resolution doesn’t always have to have a pretty little bow tied up but you do need something). Here’s my advice: Either join the Writer’s Digest webpage for free and download your own blank worksheet OR use my beautiful diagram above as a rough outline and draw your own map. 
Even if you don’t like outlining I think it’s a good way to get the barebones of your story down. Sometimes that’s all you really need. 
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One thought on “How To Map Your Story

  1. I used to buy Writer's Digest whenever I popped in Borders… but obviously I haven't gotten one in awhile seeing how Borders is closed. Maybe I'll have to subscribe 😉

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