Do you understand the elements of structure? This week, Robert and Kathryn ask Alida to define story structure, then we dive into the various components of long form fiction. We discuss the three act structure, using examples from archetypal works. And we pay special attention to act I and how to launch your novel.




What is story structure? And do you need to know everything about it before you write? How should you story fit and where is there wiggle room? What is the difference between an opening hook and an inciting incident? And how important is that midpoint? Remember that you can always innovate your story, but the basics of structure will be there.

What we talked about:

What do we mean when we say structure? (1:50)

Does everything need to be perfectly in its place? (5:05)

What is basic story structure? (8:18)

What are you giving your reader in act one? (9:20)

Give your readers a sense of “before”. (10:10)

What is the difference between an opening hook and an inciting incident? (11:40)

Your Inciting Incident needs to have character agency! (14:40)

Learn story elements so that you can use them in whatever ways you want. (17:00)

What about the midpoint? (18:45)

Most important question: am I progressing the story? (23:40)

You can innovate your story, but you must still have basic elements of structure. (25:30)

Don’t let lack of knowledge about structure stop you from writing, but it will help you to write your story better and faster. (27:45)


Things we mentioned:

Star Wars: A New Hope 
Shawn Coyne 

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 073: Stakes & Agency

Visit the Story Works Fiction School. 
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