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you have to calculate the formal charges of all the elements in the compound and the smaller the number is the more stable the structure is.
so does that mean in order to find the most stable structure it's kind of a trial and error type thing? like you just keep changing the structure around and calculating the formal charge until you find it?
I think when the compound clearly has more than one possible structure, then yes, you'd likely have to calculate the formal charges for each structure just to be sure. And you won't necessarily find a structure with a formal charge of 0, so just find the smallest charge overall.
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