The structure of a story


Stories, if graphically illustrated, are like bows of arrows shot by bows. They soar skyward, reach a peak or peak height, and then bend sharply when gravity causes them to fall to the ground. The first part of the arc can be equated to the growing tension or suspense of a story, its pinnacle can be considered its climax or turning point, and its fall is its resolution or denouement, at which time all the loose ends are tied up and you arrive to conclusions. .


Both short and long stories, as well as short and long novels, can use eight crucial aspects in the development of their plots, but they do not necessarily have to incorporate all of them. All eight include the following.

1). Stasis:

Stasis implies a condition of stability or normality. Life goes on for the characters in a story. The author needs to create the baseline of everyday reality for the protagonists and their world. Depending on the novel and the style, this can be short, even a paragraph or a bit longer.

However, using a longer stasis can quickly bore the reader, who will not be able to continue with the story. Flashbacks, which provide a backstory, can serve as a remedy for this obstacle.

Regardless of how you choose to start your story, you need to engage the reader as quickly as possible. If you use a longer stasis, then you need a powerful writing style, perhaps creating intrigue about the protagonist’s early life or demonstrating something peculiar about his current everyday life.

two). Trigger:

A trigger can be considered the exhilarating event that breaks the story stalemate and encourages the character or characters to become part of the main plot or action.

Triggers can be major events, like murders or explosions, or they can seem almost insignificant, like something mentioned in conversation. They can be equally positive or negative, noticed or unnoticed, sudden or gradual, short or long. Its key attribute and purpose is to bring about the change that initiates the plot.

Any story can start with a bang if its trigger occurs right away, like on the first page.

3). The search:

The search can be considered the purpose of the protagonist, emerging from the trigger. Ideally, this should take up the majority of the novel and include the points listed below.

A stated or undeclared purpose of the quest may be to return the protagonist to original stasis, which an antagonist may oppose. Another possibly related mission may be to defeat the antagonist. The mission can also evolve as more is learned and the journey transforms the hero. Simple personal goals, such as conquest or acquisition, generally evolve into broader, more social goals, such as saving others. If times get particularly tough, the search may simply be a search for survival.

4). Surprise:

Introducing surprises or twists keeps the reader’s interest and intrigue in the story and provides an opportunity to develop character.

To be a surprise, an event must be unexpected, at least in part. To work within the story, it must be plausible and make sense to the reader, at least in hindsight. Surprises should be added to the plot, increasing the participation and the final pleasure of the reader. A bad surprise will only disappoint and disappoint you.

Surprises can often be unpleasant, like, “Oh no, not here and now,” but they can be punctuated with an occasional pleasant respite and reward. Unpleasant surprises challenge the hero as he fights his quest, giving him the opportunity for true heroism and personal growth. Nice surprises, like “Hooray, I won!” Include obtaining treasures and meeting other useful parts along the way.

5). Critical choice:

Sometimes the hero will be faced with difficult decisions, such as whether to continue or back down before reaching his goal.

Critical decisions are important and essential elements in the continuation of a search and can include factors such as pauses to help others along the way or fighting evil obstacles. Such decisions must be consistent with the character, although they can also be transformative, changing the person, such as when a coward decides to act courageously. Showing the struggle to decide and the exercise of free will can be important.

Critical choices are often built throughout history, with each one becoming more important than the last.

6). Climax:

The climax of a story occurs when the search, built through surprises and critical choices, reaches its most intense circumstances. It is the point where tensions must be resolved. It creates the final tension of the plot, leads to a point of confrontation and / or realization, forces the protagonist to encounter the unknown, and is the culminating point of all the conflicts in the story.

There may be a series of minor and major climaxes throughout the story, leading to the grand finale near or at the end. While minor climaxes resolve minor tensions and major tensions resolve into major climaxes, there is still an underlying and growing tension that can only be resolved with the grand climax where the collective quest is finally resolved. It is through this sequence of climaxes that the story arc is built, linking the reader with the journey of the hero and other protagonists, almost as if it were an indirect part of it.

Along the story path, there may be a number of side stories and side quests, each with its own surprises and critical choices. While these may indeed be little tales of your own, they should still contribute to the final grand climax, where you may finally realize the importance of these side events.

7). Investment:

The reverse aspect allows the hero to integrate everything he has learned throughout his journey and thus become the true hero, generally without losing his original charm and personality. Other characters can change too, especially when they have traveled and developed together.

Setbacks are the result of the journey itself and are, as such, unavoidable. A character cannot face obstacles and adversities, but remain the same. Otherwise, you would avoid the need for the trip. However, your transformation (s) must be logical and credible.

8). Resolution:

The final resolution serves to create a new stasis or balance in the characters’ lives.

This is also unavoidable as all tensions are resolved. This new stasis is rarely the same as the original, however, because the characters have learned and grown. It can also serve as a platform for another adventure, perhaps where secondary characters take on a larger role or where the hero becomes more subtly into a larger and more complete character. A new trigger can also provide a clue that a new or future story can be anticipated, particularly a sequel.


Like a good dinner in a five-star restaurant, whose experience is not only the food, but is elevated to an art through several dishes that complement each other and result in a completeness much greater than the sum of its individual parts, A story must whet the appetite (ascending action), participate (at its peak or conflict), and satisfy or satisfy (at its denouement or resolution). Diners invest money in a satisfying experience. Readers do the same with their time.

“(In doing so) … everything on the page should play a role in advancing the narrative, and the writer should take the most direct path to tell the full story,” according to Mark Baechtel in “Shaping the Story: A Guide. step by step to write short fiction “(Pearson Education, 2004, p. 135). “As it moves through its upward and downward course and nears its conclusion, the writer must ensure that there are no characters, scenes, passages of description, exposition, or summary that (don’t belong there) …”

Article sources:

Baechtel, Mark. “Shaping History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Short Fiction”. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.

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