on Helping Writers become Authors:
Being a good writer is all about being a good learner—having a wide-open mind that’s always looking for the next question. I think you guys must all be good writers, because you know how to ask some good questions! Today, I want to share a story structure Q&A, featuring six thought-provoking emails I’ve received.
Story structure exists as an elegant system for interpreting and making accessible the complex abstractions of story theory. Basically, the principles of story structure are simply the recognition of the patterns that emerge when we look at the larger canon of storytelling throughout the centuries.
Many writers teach different approaches to story structure, but they all boil down to essentially the same thing. Structure, as I teach it, breaks story down into eight equal parts, spread across three acts. These parts are punctuated by nine major moments, which optimally occur equidistant from one another: