Greetings! If you’re struggling to give voice to your most powerful story, you may have a glitch in your structure. Whether your story is 3 lines or 300 pages. You’ve got to have the right structure.
And it’s no small potato. If you’re selling a book proposal, structure is 60% of what publishers are looking for. I recently evaluated 3-minute start-up pitches for an interested venture capital firm. But no deal was done because the stories couldn’t engage. A business story is not an elevator pitch with a cherry on top.
Great story is a seduction. It moves people from one place to another. It creates passion, drives conversation and delivers results beyond what can be premeditated. Line by line, in steps and moments and rhythms.
You need to know before you start how and where you want to move me. From what beginning point to what conclusion? You can't control it, but you can care about me enough to intend it.
Structuring is a real skill. Not so easy. So to make it more edible try thinking of it like you are planning to host a dinner party.
A dinner, like a story, has got a beginning, middle, and end. And all the stuff in between. Your story is in process from the moment you decide you've got one worth sharing. It begins before the doorbell rings.
You can’t just slop a steak in the middle of a table and expect guests you haven’t invited, (readers or customers) to come to your door sizzling.
A steak is not a party.
In story, like in your house, you make us feel welcomed or not. We know it in a heartbeat and we don’t forget it.
You are the host and at the helm but without "us", "them" there’s no story. It's you with a lot of inventory and leftovers.
Ask yourself some questions: What’s the intent/the experience you’d like to create for people? What’s the occasion? A theme party perhaps?
Who are the characters you want to be there? How many will be the right number? Will they make a good mix? Is there someone better to omit from this time's list?
What’s to eat? Personal chef tonight? Costco? Drinks? Appetizers? Paper plates? Cracking open the Waterford? Detail by detail. Step by step. That’s what carries us to dessert and beyond.
Your guests arrived. Do you give them a second to get settled? Can you stay calm enough to enjoy your guests? Are you putting us to work? Please take off your shoes? Can you help me set the table? What works for your story?
A beautiful seduction is not a manipulation. Manipulation is predictable. Same old story. Same old voice.
All of this is structure. All of this moves us. To an action or to the door.
If you sense you are wasting time and the real genius of what you’ve got, maybe I can help you.
My door (or at least first my e-mail) is open to you.
You are cordially invited.
What should you bring? Just your real Self.
Thanks for reading and sharing if you feel so moved. I appreciate it.