Henckel wrote:The problem is that I’ve studied the Three Act Structure, Narrative Arc structure, A Disturbance and Two Doorways Structure, A Hero’s Journey, and the Seven point Plot Outline; but my story doesn’t fit any of these.
Should I take this an indication that my plotting sucks? Or is it possible that I’m using a lesser known plot and structure that may not be entirely incorrect?
A commercial plot is often built around an archetype that has succeeded before. Experts often teach you to emulate what has succeeded before, on the not unreasonable premise that it is more likely to achieve success again than is something that is revolutionary and new.
On the other hand thousands of people are attempting to succeed by this method. They will not all succeed. Hence this is not a sufficient condition of success. Moreover, like the Mannerist painters who followed the High Renaissance masters, you are likely to discover that no-one is quite as good at painting like Michelangelo as was Michelangelo.
If you strike out on your own and write what feels right to you, you may get it wrong, in fact you probably will. You might however discover that you are the new Rembrandt and that in future everyone will try to copy your method of achieving success. That can't happen if you're still trying to be Michelangelo, but it probably will not happen at all anyway.
The point I'm trying to make is that your writing needs to be YOUR writing if it is to be satisfying, but it needs to be commercial if it is going to sell. We must remember that Van Gogh only ever sold one painting and the whole business drove him mad.
I set out doing what I thought was right, found out no-one else liked it and that some suggestions might actually be sensible, eventually arriving at what I hope is a reasonably satisfactory compromise.
But I've still only made 2.1 sales at professional rates!
So why should you listen to me?