Whether you’re a writer or not, we can all appreciate how plot structure plays an important part of crafting a well-made story. Understanding how a story falls into a particular structure, can be both exciting and informative.
Types Of Story Structure
When it comes to story structures, there are a myriad of options available. Essentially, however, they all do the same thing: they organise the flow of events in our manuscripts- it’s that simple. Depending on the natural progression of your story, you may want to follow one of the many structures out there. Each structure has their own points/beats that help the flow of cause and effect from scene to scene, so let’s look at 5 common story structures and how they may help your story.:
1. Seven point plot structure
by Dan Wells, this structuring method focuses on the highs and lows of the narrative arc with 7 plot points.
2. Story circle
by Dan Harmon-the co-creator of Rick and Morty; the story circle is similar to the Hero’s journey. With 8 beats, this structure focuses heavily on the character’s wants and needs.
3. Save The Cat Beat Sheet
by Blake Snyder, this method was originally created for screenwriting and was later adapted for novel writing. It follows the 3-act structure and has 15 beats and, similarly with the 7 plot structure, focuses on the highs and lows of the narrative arc.
4. The Hero’s Journey
by Joseph Campbell, this falls into the 3-act structure. The Hero’s journey has 12 steps that follow the main character throughout their journey.
5. Freytag’s Pyramid
by the by 19th century German playwright Gustav Freytag, this structure follows the idea that, as Freytag put it, a story is broken into two parts, (the play and counterplay), with the climax at the highest point between each part. This structure relies heavily on the continual rise to the climax and the falling action thereafter.
The novel that I’m in the process of drafting follows the Save The Cat/15 Beat structure and I’m loving it for this story.
While I was in the outlining stage, I was amazed to see that the natural progression of my story aligned greatly with this particular structure.
If you would like a post where I break down The Save The Cat Beat Sheet, and my favourite beats within, comment and let me know 👇