Story Structure: Laying Down the Bones
(Story Development For Writers, Part 4)
by John Robert Marlow
SEVEN ELEMENTS OF STRUCTURE
Classically-structured (three-act) stories have seven basic structural elements: inciting incident, first act turn, midpoint, low point, second act turn, climax, and denouement or wrap-up. Though you’ll occasionally hear about “mythically structured” tales (like Star Wars) having more than three acts, all of those acts fall within three major acts, so the structure laid out below still holds true.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Really. And the structure is exactly the same for books, movies, and other story venues—because story is story, regardless of medium.