Yesterday I had one of those amazing moments where I got to teach my kids about something I’m passionate about.
My son was putting together a book report for class and was having trouble. He didn’t understand what a climax in a book was or even how to find it.
I tried to explain it to him, but he just wasn’t understanding. That’s when I decided he needed some visual aid. I took down the poster I made on basic novel structure and walked him through it.
I was able to explain to him what inciting events were, plot points, pitch points, climatic sequences and resolutions.
He became excited as he began to see the connections.
Walking through the book he had just read, I was able to help him point out each of the major points in the story and where they fit into the basic structure of the book. This led him to being able to determine what exactly the climax of the story was and why it was the climax.
It was like a giant puzzle to him and he was able to piece it all together.
Then, as he thought about it, he became even more amazed at how almost every book he has read recently, falls into this same basic pattern. It was like he’d just discovered the biggest secret to books in the world.
He was literally beaming with excitement.
Watching him, I realized that I was looking at myself the very first time I learned the basic structure of novels.
When I had that “aha” moment, the whole world of writing changed for me. It was as if I’d unlocked the secrets of the universe. And believe it or not, that was just a few short years ago. Lucky for me, that structure had already been woven into the bones of my story telling long ago, I just never knew it was an actual thing.
But now I know about story structure and I can study it, learn from it and apply it to my books.
And you know what else? The most amazing, awesome and exciting part about it?
My son knows it now too, and he doesn’t have to wait until he’s graduated from college and learning it all on his own.
He can let it help him organize his papers (because we talked about other kinds of writing structures too) and he can rock the classroom with his succinct and awesome book reports.
This was an exciting mother moment for me because I wasn’t just a mom teaching her son something. I was also a writer teaching an eager student. That’s got to be one of the most awesome feelings in the world.
In case you missed it, I have a new blog that I’m working on. It’s going to be about non-writing topics. The most recent post is about the easiest way to clean with essential oils, but if you go to my first post and about page, you will get to see a little more of what this new blog is going to be about. Please go visit Mountain Girl Speaks and subscribe for the latest posts. Thanks a bunch!