Monday, October 27, 2014


This week we're looking atConflict within the structure of a  Story 

The Basic Three Act Structure
The simplest building blocks of a good story are the Three Act Structure. Separated by Plot Points, its Act 1 (Beginning), Act 2 (Middle), and Act 3 (End) refer not to where in time in the story they lie but instead fundamental stages along the way.

  • In the Beginning you introduce the reader to the setting, the characters and the situation (conflict) they find themselves in and their goal. Plot Point 1 is a situation that drives the main character from their "normal" life toward some different conflicting situation that the story is about. 

    • Great stories often begin at Plot Point 1
    • thrusting the main character right into the 
    • thick of things, but they never really leave out
    •  Act 1, instead filling it in with back story along the way.

  • In the Middle the story develops through a series of complications and obstacles, each leading to a mini crisis. Though each of these crises are temporarily resolved, the story leads inevitably to an ultimate crisis—the Climax. As the story progresses, there is a rising and falling of tension with each crisis, but an overallrising tension as we approach the Climax. The resolution of the Climax is Plot Point 2.

  • In the End, the Climax and the loose ends of the story are resolved during the Denouement. Tension rapidly dissipates because it's nearly impossible to sustain a reader's interest very long after the climax. Finish your story and get out.

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