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Park Ridge writers group grapgic

A Helpful Space To Reach Your Writing Goals

The Park Ridge Writers Group offers a friendly space for helpful critique, as well as encouragement for your writing goals. We meet on the second (in person, at the Library) and fourth (via Zoom) Wednesdays of each month. Most meetings begin with a short discussion of a particular craft topic, then move to discussing member works. We welcome all forms of writing – fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction – please join us! Click here to register.

Read below to learn about some common forms of story construction talked about in the group.

Read samples of the Park Ridge Writers Group’s work in the Writers Group’s Virtual Anthology.

How We Write

Freytag’s Pyramid

Gustav Freytag

19th Century German Playwright

Freytag’s Pyramid is what we would consider a traditional Western structure. The story starts with exposition. An inciting incident leads to the rising action. The top of the pyramid is the climax, where the action of the story comes to a head. This is followed by the falling action, where story problems are wrapped up. The story ends with the denouement, where the life of the characters has returned to an even keel.

Most forms of writing/story follow this model in some way. It is a helpful diagram to consider as a writer constructs their plot.

Freytags Pyramid graphic

Simple Shapes of Stories

Kurt Vonnegut

20th Century Author

Vonnegut famously distills the shapes of stories to a graph: the x-axis is the beginning and end of the story, while the y-axis is good fortune to ill fortune. A character starts with good or bad fortune, then their lives take a turn in the opposite direction.

Simple Shapes of Stories graphic

Kishotenketsu Stages

Kishotenketsu is a four-act plot structure common in Asian storytelling. The introduction (ki), the development (sho), the twist (ten), and the conclusion (ketsu). Compared to more familiar narratives, the conflict act is missing, which is somewhat unfamiliar to a Western audience.

Kishotenketsu stages graphic

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