Six story structures
Here are six variations of basic story structure. Each has a beginning, middle, and end. What makes the structures different is that each starts in a unique way, and builds from there.
- Narrative structure is “the classical form” and is the most recognized by audiences: character/conflict/resolution.
- A chronology is also very easy to understand and audiences like it. Chronologies show events as they happened and unfolded.
- Crisis and flashback: begin with the crisis, then back up, and tell the events that led to what happened.
- Start from the point of view of the character (or the writer), describing what happened in the first person.
- A memorable/iconic image or sentence that has the power to express the entire story in a picture or a few words.
- A contrast, comparison, change, in other words, making a connection between the very known and the completely unknown. This is very powerful, and the reason why people are morbidly fascinated with airplane crashes or car accidents; most everyone knows what it is like to fly in an airplane, or drive a car. But if something went wrong, “what if it was me?”
Next: Building tension