Story structure doesn’t have to be so complicated. I have a basic guide in which I try to break story structure down into really simple terms and parts: the beginning, middle and end. If you’re really clever, you noticed that was just a repackaging of a time-tested story form known as the three act structure.
In this video, Darius breaks down the three act structure specifically in terms of film and screenplays, but learning what this is and why it works can help any storyteller whether you’re working on a graphic novel or a short story.
He makes one point that I really want you to get though. Movies that feel like they’re meandering and aren’t going anywhere are usually ones that are built on poorly shaped or unsupportable structures. That’s the reason the three act structure works so well. It’s logical, and it drives a story to a conclusion. Follow it, and your audience will never sit back and wonder why nothing seems to be happening.
Another good point to be made here is that you’ve probably come across these ideas in other places, especially if you’ve read any of my site or any of the books mentioned in the video. The parts may just have had different names or subtle variations. But, they all boil down to the really simple idea of a beginning, middle and end. If that feels too simple to you, well then you’re on to something. This is an area of storytelling that I feel we tend to overcomplicate and shroud in mystery. It doesn’t have to be that way. Make it easy on your self. There acts. Beginning, middle and end.
For more of Darius’ videos, checkout his Youtube channel.