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10.12.2012 11:41    Comments: 0    Categories: Structure  Writing Craft  Fiction Writing  Fiction Elements  Writing      Tags: h.t. milhorn  writing  genre  fiction  guide  craft  chart  

Structure Chart (From Chapter 9 of Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft by H.T. Milhorn)

 

The following chart illustrates the main points of a novel as described in this chapter. When writing your novel, it may be helpful to create a similar chart and fill in the details.

 

Title
---
  • No real rules, except don't make it too long. Many titles are just one word.
Prologue
---
  • Four types (background, different point-of-views, past protagonist, future protagonist)
  • Prologue test
Beginning
Initial Setup
  • Exposition
  • Hook
  • Main characters
  • Setting
Big Event
  • The situation that launches the story (protagonist is thrust into the action)
  • Involves conflict
  • Establishes the story goal
  • Establishes the story's direction
Middle
Complications
(Plots, Points, Reversals)
  • Tries to achieve his/her goal
  • Obstacles are introduced
  • Disasters occur
Crisis (Pinch)
  • A showdown becomes inevitable
  • Comes to realize that he/she must take a stand (there are only two choices)
  • Agonizes over which of the two courses of action to take
  • Makes his/her decision
  • Epiphany (revelation)
  • Sets out to do final battle (the climax)
End
Climax (Showdown)
  • The finest and biggest battle
  • Highest point of tension
  • Decides overall winner and loser
  • Demonstrates internal change
Resolution (Denouement)
  • Climax is over and story goal is answered
  • Winners and losers are known
  • Loose ends are wrapped up
  • Characters have gained new insights that reflect their growth
  • Theme is reinforced
  • Symbolic event
Epilogue
(Afterword)
---
  • Seldom used
  • Often deals with futures of characters
  • Differs significantly from the main story in time or place or narrative style

 

References

 

Based on Schnelbach, Susan D. and Christopher Scott Wyatt, Plots and Stories, Tameri Guide for Writers, http://www.temaeri.com/write/plotnstory.html.

 
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