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Structure Prezi

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by

Beth Revis

on 29 March 2016

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Transcript of Structure Prezi

Finally
Structure is what you make of it.

There is no one way to use structure, but every story has some form of structure.

Whether used to outline or revise a manuscript, structure is a key part of the success of a story.
Key Points & Action Points
Story Structure

Begin by figuring out the Key Points of your novel
--Each act has a mid-point and an end-point
--These should be essential scenes
--Each one causes change for the character's self and world

The Action Points connect the Key Points
--Each action must serve a purpose to the overall story
--Action Points aren't filler--they are essential to the structure
8 Box Structure
Things get complicated
Turning Point / Major Revelation
Turning Point / Major Revelation
Evil Goes Down
(try and fail)
(stakes raised)
(moment of change)
(final battle)
Launch into Main Plot
Now it's Personal
(point of no return)
All is Lost / Dark Night of the Soul
(whiff of death)
Game Changer
(final image, circles back around to the opening image)
PROBLEM
Opening image--something that resonates

What is the Main Character like, and what's wrong with her and her world?


PROCESS
What leads the MC to tackle the main problem? What is holding her back and what makes her take the plunge?
COMPLICATIONS
How does the MC struggle with the new changes?

Who helps her? What is the relationship with the person who helps her--romantic? Friend? Mentor?
CONFLICTS
High action time!

These are the "trailer scenes."

MC is playing in the world, fighting, training, and learning.
DANGER
Things are getting serious. Playtime is over. The threat is VERY real.
DEATH
There is a serious sacrifice at this point. The mentor may die, or the relationship may fall apart.

Death can be physical or emotional.
RESILIENCE
The MC is struggling to survive, but willing to fight to the death. This part is NOT about winning--it's about fighting despite the chance of failure.
RESOLUTION
The MC must live in the new world. She must accept who she is now. She has very clearly won or lost the day.
Story is what happens. Plot is the structure.
THIS CAN BE DONE EITHER AS AN OUTLINE OR AS A REVISION TOOL
There is no hard & fast rules. Methods change--sometimes with each book
8 Box Structure
Things get complicated
Turning Point / Major Revelation
Turning Point / Major Revelation
Evil Goes Down
Harry is punished--loses all points for Gryffindor and will get detention
Harry is sorted into Gryffindor
Letters arriving; "Yer a wizard, Harry"
Harry defeats Voldemort
Now it's Personal
Harry in forbidden corridor; Hogwarts = home
All is Lost / Dark Night of the Soul
Realization that Voldemort is trying to come back;
he needs the sorcerer's stone
Game Changer
Harry leaves on train, but says he's not really going home; "they don't know I can't use magic."
PROBLEM
Opening image: scar

Problem: The world was broken under Voldemort's terror.
Problem: Harry is miserable with the Dursleys.
Problem: Harry isn't in the world he needs to be in.
PROCESS
Harry learns that Voldemort is a threat.

Harry learns that his parents deaths deal directly with Voldemort.

Harry has longings to join this magic world he sees for the first time in Diagon Alley and with Hagrid.

At the Leaky Cauldron, he realizes he's a celebrity.
Launch into Main Problem
At Gringotts, there's a mysterious package that Hagrid will transfer to Hogwarts to keep secure.
COMPLICATIONS
Harry is afraid of not fitting in and that people expect too much of him for something he did as a baby

Harry literally enters a new world (Hogwarts)

Makes friends with Ron & enemies with Draco




CONFLICTS
Harry in classes and exploring the magical world of Hogwarts

Lots of quirky world-building and descriptions--everything here is fun and new and exciting

Snape clearly hates Harry; conflicts there (scar hurting)

Is afraid of getting in trouble, but is instead put on the Quidditch team

"Fun & Games" --> Quidditch & broom riding!
DANGER
TROLL IN THE DUNGEONS! Hogwarts is threatened

Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised

"Bad guys close in"--> Draco sees Norbert and reports them
DEATH
Harry sent to Forbidden Forest for detention

Emotional death: Harry is hated for losing all house points
Physical whiff of death: Voldemort drinking unicorns' blood

Harry's home--Hogwarts--is falling apart for him
RESILIENCE
Harry, Hermione, and Ron go through the forbidden corridor and struggle to reach the stone before Voldemort

Harry ultimately has to face everything alone
RESOLUTION
Harry wins the cup

Harry is beloved by all (except Draco, the prat)

Party time!
SETUP
NEW
SITUATION
PROGRESS
COMPLICATIONS
& HIGHER
STAKES
FINAL PUSH
AFTER-
MATH
Opportunity
Change of Plans
Point of No Return
Major Setback
Climax
OUTLINE:

Use the Story Structure to develop an outline that comprehensively organizes the story
WHILE WRITING:

When you get stuck, refer to the Story Structure to find a way to get un-stuck. Prevent writer's block and write more quickly.
REVISING:

Compare what you have written with the Story Structure to ensure that your pacing is solid and to confirm that the key points you want to get across are clear.
EDITING:

Compare what you consider the key points to what critiquers/editors consider the key points; strengthen the points that aren't clear to the reader
Uses of Story Structure
Resources
Michael Hauge
Writing Screenplays that Sell (book)
The Hero's Two Journeys (DVD/CD)
www.StoryMastery.com
Blake Snyder
Save the Cat (book)
www.BlakeSnyder.com
Cheryl Klein
Second Sight (book)
The Narrative Breakdown (podcast)
www.CherylKlein.com
chavelaque.blogspot.com
Alexandra Sokoloff: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors
John Truby: The Anatomy of Story
Robert McKee: Story
Donald Maass
Writing the Breakout Novel
The Breakout Novelist
The Fire in Fiction
The Career Novelist
Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird
Diana Wynne Jones: Reflections
James Scott Bell: Plot & Structure
Full transcript