How a story works: The structure

The beginning >           The Middle >                                     The End  

Set up                           Confrontation (Black moment)          Resolution

At the Beginning you introduce the reader to the setting, the characters and the situation. You set up the situation which will drive the main character from their ‘normal’ life toward conflict. Great stories begin with a dramatic thrust which takes  the main character right into the thick of things.

In the Middle of the story you should develop a series of complications and obstacles, each leading to a mini crisis. Though each of these crises are temporarily resolved, the story leads inevitably to an ultimate crisis—the Climax. As the story progresses, there is a rising and falling of tension with each crisis, but there should be an overall rising tension which brings us to the Black Moment. This is when all seems lost and the reader can’t see how the main character will get out of the pickle he’s in.

At the End, the Climax and the loose ends of the story are resolved. Tension rapidly dissipates because impossible to sustain a reader’s interest for long after the climax has been reached. Finish your story and get out.

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