Ira, I will be expanding these ideas in the form of a book I’ve been commissioned to write. The main thing I think is this: If writers immerse themselves in the lives of their characters, begins and ends the story-crafting process there, chances are no matter what story structure they have, conventional or not, they will end up with a compelling tale.
Someone could argue, “How can I expect working with characters to lead to the story’s structure? Their lives are as messy and convoluted as ours. How does a narrative emerge from delving into their lives?”
Here’s the thing: In a movie, it’s almost always the case that the Protagonist goes through a metamorphosis, what typically is referred to as their ‘arc.’ And if that arc is a *positive* one, a helpful way to look at that is this:
Disunity → Unity
And *that*, I would argue, becomes the foundation of the story structure. In other words, the psychological journey of the Protagonist touches all the events of the plot, indeed, each of the characters who emerge in the story development process. It’s an inversion of the formulaic way of writing a screenplay: Instead of focusing on plot first, plugging in this beat here and that beat there per some arbitrary page count, immerse oneself in the Protagonist’s journey and think of how the events of the plot and the characters with whom the Protagonist intersects *serve and support* the Protagonist’s metamorphosis.
That’s the core premise of what I call ‘character driven writing’ and is the starting point and touchstone for what my book will be about.
So to your point, yes, I will be expanding on this post, some 110K words worth! Look for it in late 2020.