A different way to structure stories

About seven or eight years ago, somebody (and I can’t recall who) put forward a “mini-movie” approach to structuring your story.


Just jumping in here to say story structure does not remove creativity. It’s a set of guidelines, much as building design rules are (roof is on the top, windows on the outside walls, basement on the bottom, plumbing not exposed), and every house (except for those suburbs built in the last decade) are different. If you don’t want to use a structure, fine. I find it much easier to plot a story if I have a rough idea of where things should be. And if you say not all stories follow a structure, name one. I’ll show you the inherent structure in a future post.

Aside over.


The scheme is divided into eight roughly equal sections. The first two constitute Act 1, the middle four constitute Act 2, and the final two constitute Act 3. The guidelines for each are as follows:

A couple of dozen words each, offering guidance to the writer on the expected deliverable for each section of your story.

What do you think? I’ve found this handy when I first start thinking about the outline of a new book.

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