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  • pete6298

04 - So, But, So, But...

I often get pulled up by my Critique Group members for too many sos and buts in my stories. This is sadly a legacy of my day job, writing bids for grant funding. I often use a plotting sequence called ‘So, But, Because’ to make a bid flow. Basically, it goes like this:

  • So, the world runs on fossil fuels.

  • But, these are running out.

  • Because they are non-renewable.

  • So, we should exploit more renewable sources such as wind power.

  • But there are limited suitable sites.

  • Because you need certain wind characteristics to make it economic.

  • So, we need to maximise the size of the turbine in a good site.

  • But, there is a limit on the power attainable from a turbine.

  • Because blades over a certain size can't support their own weight.

  • So, we need to...

  • Etc.

I tend to bring this unconsciously into my story writing to ensure a coherent and logical sequence - every action has a consequence; every barrier has an attempt to overcome it.

The downside of this is a rather liberal sprinklings of sos and buts. This is particularly evident in synopses or twitter pitches, where I have a constant battle to move away from this structure:

  • We are in situation X, which MC wants to change

  • So, MC does Y,

  • But this leads to Z

  • What will happen next?

Do you have Storytelling tools that are both a blessing and a curse? Let us know in the comments below.

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