Photo by Biel Morro
What shape is a story? Make that shape with your hands. Did you make a circle, a triangle, a square? Some people even draw squiggly lines, or try to trace a story arc in the air. This makes sense — stories have shape and pattern; and most plots follow the trajectory of an arc, though often with twists and turns.
Now, I want to show you the real shape of a story. Make the shape of a bowl with your hands. Fill your cupped hands with water — I’d advise doing this away from the keyboard! Try to hold your hands so that the water doesn’t leak out. This is your story bowl.