Story structure at it’s core has a beginning, middle and end, or Acts 1, 2, and 3. Each part serves a purpose and each part can be broken down farther into smaller parts. Each part of story structure serves various purposes, such as the story hook, the gateway of no return one that pushes or pulls the character into the middle (Act 2) of your story. Then there’s pinch point one that ratchets up the intensity of the story. The Midpoint that is the turning point for the character and of the story, followed by another pinch point, and then gateway two that pushes the character into the ending of your story (Act 3).

This isn’t all thought, there are other points within this structure as well, you have crisis points, climax scenes, progressive complication scenes, turning points, and genre specific scenes that are needed depending on the story type you’re writing.

Be sure to read our series on Story Structure for more details.

Basic Three Act Structure has a beginning, middle, and end.

BEGINNING

ACT I

MIDDLE

ACT II

END

ACT III

The middle of Act II (the 50% mark) is the point of no return. To show that better many writers divide Act into two parts, Act II A and Act II B, with the point of no return separating them.

BEGINNING

ACT I

MIDDLE

ACT IIA

MIDDLE

ACT IIB

END

ACT III

The books below I have found extremely helpful in understand plot. I have listed them in the order of I found most helpful left to right. Hope they help you as much as they did me. If there are any resources you have found helpful please share with everyone.

POST Story Structure Spreadsheet
POST Story Structure Spreadsheet
POST-Story-Structure-Spreadsheet.xlsx
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