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How to improve my writing skills

What structure can I use

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

1. Character Development:

Protagonist with Desire: Every good story has a protagonist who wants something. Understanding what your main character desires helps drive the plot forward.

Transformation: Show how the character changes over time. A story is more engaging when the protagonist grows or evolves in some way.

2. Inciting Incident:

• This is the event that sets the story in motion. It disrupts the protagonist’s ordinary world and compels them to take action.

3. Conflict:

Internal and External Conflicts: Effective stories include both internal conflicts (struggles within the character) and external conflicts (challenges from the outside world).

Rising Action: Build tension by escalating the conflicts and challenges the protagonist faces.

4. Plot Structure:

Three-Act Structure: Divide the story into three acts: setup, confrontation, and resolution.

Act 1 (Setup): Introduce the characters, setting, and inciting incident.

Act 2 (Confrontation): Develop the story through rising action and increasing conflict.

Act 3 (Resolution): Resolve the conflicts and conclude the story.

5. Themes:

• Identify the central themes or messages of your story. These are the underlying ideas you want to convey through the narrative.

6. Scenes and Sequels:

Scenes: These are the building blocks of your story, each with a goal, conflict, and outcome.

Sequels: Follow scenes with sequels that show the character’s reaction and decision-making process, propelling the story forward.

7. Pacing:

• Balance action-packed scenes with slower, more reflective moments to maintain the reader’s interest and provide depth to the story.

8. Climax:

• The climax is the story’s most intense point, where the main conflict reaches its peak. It should be a turning point that significantly impacts the protagonist.

9. Resolution:

• After the climax, tie up loose ends and provide a satisfying conclusion that reflects the protagonist’s journey and growth.

1. Three-Act Structure:

• Act 1: Setup

• Act 2: Confrontation

• Act 3: Resolution

2. Hero’s Journey (Monomyth) by Joseph Campbell:

• Ordinary World

• Call to Adventure

• Refusal of the Call

• Meeting the Mentor

• Crossing the Threshold

• Tests, Allies, and Enemies

• Approach to the Inmost Cave

• Ordeal

• Reward (Seizing the Sword)

• The Road Back

• Resurrection

• Return with the Elixir

3. Freytag’s Pyramid:

• Exposition

• Rising Action

• Climax

• Falling Action

• Denouement (Resolution)

4. Story Spine by Pixar:

• Once upon a time…

• Every day…

• One day…

• Because of that…

• Because of that…

• Until finally…

• And ever since then…

5. Dan Harmon’s Story Circle:

• You (a character is in a zone of comfort)

• Need (but they want something)

• Go (they enter an unfamiliar situation)

• Search (adapt to it)

• Find (get what they wanted)

• Take (pay a heavy price for it)

• Return (then return to their familiar situation)

• Change (having changed)

6. Kishōtenketsu:

• Ki (Introduction)

• Shō (Development)

• Ten (Twist)

• Ketsu (Conclusion)

7. Seven-Point Story Structure by Dan Wells:

• Hook

• Plot Turn 1

• Pinch Point 1

• Midpoint

• Pinch Point 2

• Plot Turn 2

• Resolution

8. Save the Cat Beat Sheet by Blake Snyder:

• Opening Image

• Theme Stated

• Set-Up

• Catalyst

• Debate

• Break into Two

• B Story

• Fun and Games

• Midpoint

• Bad Guys Close In

• All Is Lost

• Dark Night of the Soul

• Break into Three

• Finale

Get ideas from other good storytellers and writers

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