overall structure of the book

by kartik rustagi
(delhi , INDIA)

Question: I am writing a story involving a character that is loosely based upon me but will have certain different actions and I am trying to relate the character to a marathon runner breaking the marathon into parts depicting different phases of life. I am thinking of starting from abstract and then moving directly into a point of life where I switched schools . But I have trouble with how to break from the character story to the marathon runner and yet relate it in such a manner that it is cohesive . also the chapters how to go about it


Answer: You may need to think about two different stories that you jump back and forth between. The story of the marathon runner should be a story in itself that follows the basic structure of ...

setup(beginning) --> complications --> crisis --> resolution

Your personal story, which I assume will be the bulk of the book, will have a similar structure. Make sure both these stories are sound and complete in themselves.

To switch between stories, start a new chapter.

For instance, maybe your first chapter is the start of the marathon. Then the next few chapters may be the start of your personal story. The fact that one follows the other invites the reader to see the parallel between them.

Then you may have another chapter about the complication phase of the marathon, followed by the second part of your story, etc.

So the marathon chapters indicate the breaks between acts, so to speak.

It's really that simple. Just make sure the reader can tell when you've switched from one plot throughline to the other. Make the two stories distinct enough that it's obvious.

Best of luck.

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