on Writers Helping Writers:
With all the writing advice out there, we know that some “writing rules” we hear are more like guidelines. However, story structure is important not just for our writing but also for our readers—creating their overall sense of our story—so we should consider the risks before ignoring structure-specific guidelines.
In fact, if our story isn’t working well, we might be able to fix the issue by going deeper into the reasons behind those guidelines. Let’s take one example of a relatively minor aspect of story structure (that most advice doesn’t even mention) and look at how it can affect our story—and how our story can “break” if we fail to include the details readers need.