Larry Brooks’ story structure has several interlocking parts, but more or less breaks stories into four parts. (You could still argue that this is a 3-part structure: 25% beginning, 50% middle, 25% end.)
This is the first 25% of the novel. It includes the opening scene, a “hooking” moment, then a “setup inciting incident.” Optional: has a major plot twist that doesn’t establish the hero’s need/quest.
- Hook reader
- Introduce hero
- Establish stakes
Begins the middle section, and comprises another 25%. It contains the first plot point (must define need and quest, opposition defined, actions need to flow from this point) followed by the first pinch point (antagonistic force asserts itself).
- Retreat, regroup
- Doomed fight back
- Opposition reasserted
The second half of the middle section, and another 25% of the novel. It opens with the midpoint. New knowledge creates new context (must be game-changer) and the hero is empowered. There’s a second pinch point, where the antagonistic force hits back hard. There’s a “all hope is lost” lull near the end of this section.
- Hero proactive and shows initiative
- Opposition pushes back
The final 25% of the story. The second plot point comes into play: final injection of information (gamer changer once again) and last piece of the puzzle.
- Beyond plot point: no new information or characters
- Problems resolved, for better or worse
Final resolution sequence
- The last scene(s) ending the story.
Here’s another way of looking at the story structure, which is more concise and character-centric.
- Establish demons
- Reacts and runs
- Unsuccessfully strikes back
- Failures related to character flaws
- Attacks the problem
- Overcomes flaws
- Risks all
- Conquers inner demons
- Must be catalyst
- Never rescued or passive