Sometimes when I get stuck on a story or if I have a very basic idea, I tend to resort to the standard “damsel in distress” formula in order to flesh out the basic story structure. I forget where I originally encountered this, but it’s always served as a basic guideline for filling in the blanks:
The formula is essentially this:
- Resumption of Quest
- Rescue and/or Escape
While always using the exact same structure can lead to (as the title would imply) “formulaic” stories, it can help fill in some blanks or jump-start the creative process if I get stuck. For a less by-the-books structure, this can be mixed with Dan Wells’s Seven Point Story Structure to add some extra interest.
How do you feel about structured/formulaic stories?