Today, I begin my breakdown of Thrillerfest XI, that took place two weeks ago at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. I’ll start with Steve Berry’s, “The 6 C’s of Story Structure.”
I’ll not go in to detail on Steve’s lecture, because you need to see it yourself. But hopefully I'll give you just enough taste to get you there next year. Briefly, the six C’s are: Character, Conflict, Crucible, Complications, Crisis, and Conclusion.
Character: Who are they? Characters are what makes our story interesting. The reader must be invested in the characters.
Conflict: The reader must realize the conflict between the antagonist and protagonist early in the story.
Crucible: This is the event that makes your hero do something he doesn’t want to do.
Complication: The revelation of subplots . . . and how they tie into the main plot.
Crisis: Think of a big explosion at the end. Just kidding, but the visual kind of makes the point. Conflict is resolved, subplots hopefully resolved as well.
Conclusion: All the loose ends tied up and the good guy wins . . . most of the time.
I won’t go into detail on how he relates those and how they relate to each other. That’s the magic of Steve’s presentation. Steve did focus on a problem that many aspiring authors face—backstory. Too many writers try to push the backstory up front (self included) instead of spreading it out over the course of the first two thirds of the book.
In addition to being a brilliant author, the guy is a gifted instructor and orator. His presentation is top notch and highly recommended. So yes, if you were there, you’d say, “Hey, there’s a lot more to his presentation that that.” And you’d be right. I didn’t want to give away the farm here, I’m just trying to show a little of the gift Steve gave us. He’ll be back next year. I suggest you give this one a shot.