Tuesday, January 17, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit - story structure part II

I've been reviewing story structure lately. Despite what the pundits say, there's more than one way to tell a story! You have your 3-17 step hero's journey, your 5 plot-point, your 3 act, your 2 step scene/sequel. Let's start on the far end and work our way in.

Last month we did the hero's journey. Today, let's discuss my favorite, the 5 plot points.

There are changes in a novel. Lots of them, or things get stale. I mean, you could construct a story about a boy named Baldric who had a lovely little sausage, The End. But unless you're Sir Anthony Robinson, it wouldn't be very engaging.

This structure revolves around the major changes that shape a story.

In a nutshell:

  • Catalyst: Change from the status quo
  • Big Event: Protagonist commits to the story's journey
  • Pinch: Horrible choice/lowest point/worst fear
  • Crisis: Protag tries to solve major problem permanently but fails/beyond worst fear.
  • Climax: Final confrontation. Tries to solve major problem permanently and succeeds.

A couple pointers here. This structure works well with the protagonist's internal journey. The crisis makes climax inevitable because protag realizes the main truth/learns the main lesson. The protag wins in the end because she has learned what she needs to.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

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