Story structure is the framework of the story, the order of events and the way it unfolds. There are many different forms this can take, but the basic form happens in four main stages: the beginning, the conflict, the climax, and the resolution.
The start of the story usually contains an explanation. It introduces characters and the setting, etc. Shows what normal life was before the conflict.
All stories have conflict of some sort. It could be anything from romantic conflict through to all out galactic war. This is the trigger for the story, the event that disrupts the normal, and what needs to be solved—the thing or things that need resolution.
This is the dramatic event that the story leads to, the height of excitement, the dramatic peak.
This is the final part, the solving of the conflict. I’ve read books that haven’t given resolution and they’ve left me annoyed and unsatisfied. Some authors may think this a good way of keeping readers interested in a series, but it’s not something I recommend. Please note – not all resolution has to be happy.
Of course, that is the basics. There can be minor climaxes, additional conflicts, and surprises.
Linear and nonlinear stories
Not every story starts at the beginning and works through in logical steps to the end. Those that do are referred to as being linear. Non-linear, of course, are those that don’t and the events can be portrayed out of chronological sequence (e.g. the use of flashbacks).
Whatever style you choose is completely up to you. So long as the story can be comprehended and made sense of, that’s all that matters!
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