Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure

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Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure

🏊‍♂️ Plunge Your Main Character Into A Terrible Trouble As Soon As Possible

Think of the worst possible dilemma you can think of for your main character. I might be a life or death situation. It could mean a young woman must decide between two equally qualified suitors—and then her choice is revealed a disaster. And again, this trouble must bear stakes dire high enough to carry the entire story.

One caveat: whatever the dilemma, it will mean little to readers if they don’t first find reasons to care about your character. 

☠️ Everything Your Character Does To Get Out Of The Terrible Trouble Makes Things Only Worse

 Avoid the temptation to make life easy for your protagonist. Every complication must proceed logically from the one before it, and things must grow progressively worse until…. 

🙏 The Situation Appears Hopeless

The Bleakest Moment. Even you should wonder how you’re ever going to write your character out of this. Your predicament is so hopeless that your lead must use every new muscle and technique gained from facing a book full of obstacles to become heroic and prove that things only appeared beyond repair.

🏆 Finally, Your Hero Succeeds (Or Fails*) Against All Odds

Reward readers with the payoff they expected by keeping your hero on stage, taking action. 

*Occasionally sad endings resonate with readers.