The 3-Act Structure

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The 3-Act Structure

This formula was used by ancient Greeks, and it’s one of Hollywood’s favorite ways to tell a story. It’s about as simple as you can get.

😏 Act I: The Set-Up

Introduce your main characters and establish the setting. Brandon Sanderson, a popular fantasy writer, calls this the “inciting incident”—  a problem that yanks the protagonist out of his comfort zone and establishes the direction of the story.

😬 Act II: The Confrontation

Create a problem that appears small on the surface but becomes more complex. The more your protagonist tries to get what he wants, the more impossible it seems to solve the problem.

😮 Act III: The Resolution

A good ending has:

  • High stakes: your reader must feel that one more mistake will result in disaster for the protagonist.

  • Challenges and growth: By the end, the protagonist needs to have grown as a person by overcoming myriad obstacles.

  • A solution: All the trials and lessons your character has endured help him solve the problem.