This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert discuss the shape of stories told in parts. What kind of story should be told in parts? What do the breaks between parts signify to readers? What choices do authors need to make when using parts? How do storylines and parts work together? Are subplots treated differently in a story with parts?

We use Octavia Butler’s Dawn as an illustration.










How are parts used in novel structure? How do parts function? And when do you want to use them? We discuss how different genre’s use parts and how to ensure you don’t use them in the wrong ways!

What we talked about:

How parts are used for multiple storylines within Dawn versus the over-arching story. (2:10)

When you are writing, are you aware of the multiple storylines from the beginning? Are they organic to the over-arching story? (3:10)

What are the parts within Dawn? How do they function as a distinct part of the whole? (5:00)

Are these distinct stories specific to books with parts? (6:50)

Why would you choose parts versus books? (8:05)

Did science fiction serialization effect the choice to use parts? (10:00)

When should you break a book into parts? (11:00)

What about the separate storylines within parts? (13:25)

What about parts in Fantasy stories? (16:45)

What kinds of stories would parts work for? (18:47)

Parts need end hooks and continuity. (25:20)




Things we mentioned:

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler 
Shogun by James Clavell 
Elmore Leonard 

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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