Dec/Jan NaNoWriMo 2014/15 Day 16: Outline and Story Structure Part 1

Hey guys! I am feeling so exhilarated. Not only did I surpass my word count today (I wrote 2,226 words), but I also had a great writing session! The story is going into an amazing direction and I cannot wait to continue.

Anyway, here are my stats:

Word Count Goal: 30,006

Words Written: 32,840

Nearly three thousands words ahead of schedule, which is good because school will be starting in a few weeks and my writing time will be significantly reduced. That won’t stop me though. I will continue trucking on.

For today’s post, I want to discuss story structure and outlining. Each story requires a different structure. The important thing is to find a structure that works for your particular story. For my current novel, I am testing out the 3 Acts, 9 Blocks, 27 Chapters outline used by BookTuber Katytastic.

Basically for this structure, you divide your story into three acts, then divide those acts into three parts, then those parts into three smaller parts. Each one of those small parts represents a different plot point in the story. Here is how it breaks down:

Act 1

Block 1

  • Intro (Set up)
  • Inciting Incident (Conflict)
  • Immediate Reaction (Resolution)

Block 2

  • Reaction (Set up)
  • Action (Conflict)
  • Consequence (Resolution)

Block 3

  • Pressure (Set Up)
  • Pinch (Conflict)
  • Push (Resolution)

Act 2

Block 4

  • New World (Set Up)
  • Fun & Games (Conflict)
  • Old Contrast (Resolution)

Block 5

  • Build Up (Set Up)
  • Midpoint (Conflict)
  • Reversal (Resolution)

Block 6

  • Reaction (Set Up)
  • Action (Conflict)
  • Dedication (Resolution)

Act 3

Block 7

  • Trials (Set Up)
  • Pinch (Conflict)
  • Darkest Point (Resolution)

Block 8

  • Power Within (Set Up)
  • Action (Conflict)
  • Converge (Resolution)

Block 9

  • Battle (Set Up)
  • Climax (Conflict)
  • Resolution (Resolution)

For this post, I will break down the first block of Act 1 and the purpose of each block and plot point.

Intro: This is where we meet the hero. We see them in their ordinary world. In the intro, I like to establish the problem, show how unhappy the hero is and make it obvious that they need something to change their world.

Inciting Incident: This is really when the story really starts taking off. In Star Wars, this is the point where Luke meets Obi Wan and is introduced to the world of the Jedi and the conflict with the Empire. In the Hero’s Journey, which I also like to use, the Inciting Incident is also referred to as The Call to Adventure. For a more modern example, the Inciting Incident in The Hunger Games is when Katniss volunteers for her sister Prim at the Reaping. This event or plot point kicks off the rest of the story.

Immediate Reaction: This is how the hero deals with the events of the Inciting Incident. In Star Wars, Luke wants to help Obi Wan but ultimately rejects his offer because he has a responsibility to his aunt and uncle. In The Hunger Games, the Immediate Reaction is when Katniss begins to understand what is happening and what she just volunteered for. She is taken away from her world and those she loves.

When it comes to outlines and story structure, you have to remember to be flexible. Each story has its own requirements and you must be true to that story, not that outline. For my current novel, I have combined certain plot points. Sometimes when I am writing, I move things around, depending on what works better for a particular situation.

In tomorrow’s post, I will continue going through this 3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapter Story Structure Outline. I encourage you all to check out Katytastic’s YouTube page. She is one of my favorite BookTubers and you should all subscribe to her channel because she has some wonderful videos on writing.

Until next time kill your darlings, slay your dragons and keep writing!

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9 thoughts on “Dec/Jan NaNoWriMo 2014/15 Day 16: Outline and Story Structure Part 1

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