Skip to content

Story Structure and Mystery

Within the earlier article Theme, Values ​​and Morale Debate, we seemed on the significance of your story’s message, and methods to ship it correctly – if you have not learn it but, I counsel you learn it first as a result of it’s continuity.

We seemed on the significance of construction in exploring your moral debate on this earlier article.

On this article, we’ll check out the various kinds of constructions a narrative will be constructed with. However earlier than that, let me introduce you to the premise that every one the tales share.

story in 3 factors and fifth diagram

For hundreds of years, storytellers have agreed to decompose their tales into three acts.


  • Web. This primary process is to arrange your world, your essential character, their objectives, and the plot. That is thought of an act of presentation.

  • confrontation. This second act is the longest and is filled with occasions. Crucial occasion is the one throughout which your essential character will understand that he can’t attain his objective, and why.

  • Decision. It’s on this ultimate process that your essential character will have the ability to attain his objective or not. Usually, there may be additionally a quick epilogue exhibiting the results of this story in your essential character’s life.

This quite simple breakdown of the story won’t ever lie and can at all times aid you construct a narrative with good premises.

Nevertheless, we are able to additionally break down a narrative into 5 components.

,fifth diagram“—which we are able to translate as “the quinary scheme”—comes from the guide L’Evaluation (Morpho) logic du récit by Paul Larivale.

It’s an ideology that decomposes the story into 5 components:

  • preliminary scenario. The half during which the world and characters are launched.
  • set off. The portion throughout which some occasion will disrupt the preliminary state.
  • Work. The half throughout which the principle character will attempt to resolve the mess.
  • Decision. outcomes of duties.
  • Final place. Results of decision, shifting in the direction of a brand new steadiness.

Moreover, Larivale additionally thinks that it’s potential to repeat an element a number of instances. Extra usually, the repeated half would be the verb itself. By repeating this half, you possibly can present how tough it’s on your essential character to resolve the mess.

Despite the fact that I’ve offered you two other ways to interrupt down your story, it doesn’t imply that you simply can’t use each in your story.

In a means, they’re very related. The primary process matches the preliminary state of laravel, the second process matches triggers and actions, and the third process matches the decision and ultimate state.

  • Key Level: Should you respect these components or acts, your plot will naturally get increasingly intense till the climax.

The climax is crucial and thrilling a part of your story that occurs on the finish of the second half (or throughout the fourth half). For instance, in a superhero movie, it’s the ultimate battle between the protagonist and his enemy.

Then, in act 3 – or act 5 – the depth of your story returns to the extent it was initially of your story.

Now that you’ve a basis, let’s take a look at other ways to construction your story.

linear story


Linear story is the most typical. The principle character passionately pursues his objective till he has to face his rival to succeed in it.

Every little thing is obvious in this kind of story. Objectives, Values, Difficulties. This assures you of simply conveying the message of your story.

  • Key Level: A transparent story doesn’t imply a easy story. You possibly can add much more extraneous complexity to your story than you possibly can construction.

You’ll find this kind of story in most Hollywood motion pictures.

Linear storytelling matches very effectively with tasks which have a transparent objective for his or her group. It will enable folks to simply observe you and play the function you need them to play within the story you are telling.

Nevertheless, if you wish to develop a wealthy lore round your undertaking, linear storytelling might not be the most suitable choice for you. It is extremely centered on one character, going straight to his objective with out exploring many components of his world.

revolving story


In contrast to a linear story, in a meandering story the principle character doesn’t pursue his objective with depth, although he has a transparent objective.

That is why he’ll encounter, usually, many various folks in many various areas of the world you have created — additionally known as “territories” by the writers — and be taught quite a bit about himself by way of others. Will be taught one thing. As a rule, this introspection leads the principle character to succeed in his or her objective.

You’ll find this kind of story in lots of myths, like Iliad,

The twisting story matches in very effectively with tasks which have a developed however completed story. It will permit you to discover all components of your territory and delve deeper into your essential character’s ideas.

It is a good compromise if you wish to develop a wealthy lore however nonetheless give attention to the principle character. Nonetheless, following a personality who would not pursue his or her objectives with the identical depth can upset your group.

You will need to strike a steadiness between discovering your lore and progressing towards your character’s objective.

spiral story


The spiral story is much less frequent and doubtless much less created for telling the story of a undertaking.

In this kind of story, the plot usually comes from a particular second that your essential character should relive (eg by way of a dream) a number of instances to be able to perceive and resolve the thriller that comes from this second.

This kind of story you could find in motion pictures like thriller Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000).

This kind of story matches completely with tasks which can be based mostly on a thriller. Nevertheless, your undertaking could also be a bit repetitive. If you wish to use this kind of story then you must be excellent on the artwork of story telling.

branching story


Within the Branches story, every department represents a complete society or part of your lore society.

This kind of story is nearer to a revolving story, nevertheless, it doesn’t essentially give attention to one essential character touring by way of branches, it may be a separate story with fully new characters for every department.

These tales ought to at all times be linked to the principle story just like the trunk of a tree. Every story brings a passage that can assist folks perceive and uncover the principle story.

You’ll find this kind of story in Area Opera, or Gulliver’s Travels (Rob Letterman, 2010).

Branched storytelling matches in very effectively with tasks that develop advanced lore that may be developed indefinitely. It will permit you to take the time to discover and delve deeper into your total lore. Nevertheless, you may want a group that loves exploring as a result of they’ll get bored if they do not observe a personality with a robust objective.

Nonetheless, it can permit you to inform a number of tales inside the principle story, so you possibly can inform these tales in several methods and use linear storytelling to at all times maintain your viewers’s consideration.


Though all of those constructions are totally different, their objective is similar: to use the mysteries of your story.

As a result of all tales share no less than one thriller: how will the principle character attain his or her objective? That is the good thriller that your plot guarantees to reply. And earlier than you possibly can reply it you must create different mysteries.

Mysteries are one of many keys to creating an attention-grabbing story, and it is much more vital for advertising and marketing a undertaking. The aim of selling is to draw folks and get them concerned with your undertaking. For this, providing the promise of a narrative and mysteries surrounding it really works very effectively.

However as you have been capable of learn this, some constructions exploit the secrets and techniques higher. For me, one of the best construction close to that is the spiral construction, though I additionally suppose it’s the most tough to make use of for advertising and marketing a undertaking.

Alternatively, the linear construction guarantees readability and effectivity. However that does not imply you must rush from begin to end. As acknowledged earlier on this article, most motion pictures have a linear construction however are additionally filled with mysteries.

  • Most important Level: On the finish of your story, all the most vital mysteries need to be solved.

Unsolved mysteries can go away your viewers wanting extra, which is an effective factor, however it could possibly additionally go away the impression of one thing unfinished. It is actually vital to know which mysteries are to be solved and which mysteries can stay unsolved.

Additionally, it is vital to present your viewers some keys to resolve the thriller. Not all of them, in any other case they may guess about your story and thus lose curiosity in it.

However for those who do not present a few of these keys, the revelations will really feel inappropriate and spoil viewers satisfaction.

With regard to a narrative, and extra so with regard to its construction and mysteries, it is all about steadiness.

Now that this..

Let’s select your construction

NOTE: In every article within the collection, this would be the half the place I’ll create the lore for a fictional undertaking. Any resemblance to an current undertaking is only coincidental.

The Odyssey is a fictional undertaking for which I will likely be utilizing the designing precept of The 12 Labors of Hercule.

Within the fantasy written by Homer, the OdysseyThe construction used is sloppy, comparable to Iliad, Hercules and Achilles journey to a lot of locations, meet a lot of characters, and have a lot of adventures.

Nevertheless, I cannot be utilizing the identical construction as my essential inspiration and can select the linear construction.

I need the undertaking group to affix in on this story and observe Q on his adventures with enthusiasm. So I feel one of the simplest ways to inform this story is to make use of a linear construction.

  • Key Level: There aren’t any good or unhealthy constructions, there are solely constructions that can or won’t match effectively with the story you might be telling.

To complete..

Now that you understand how to construction your story, we’ll have a look at methods to write the characters within the subsequent part: Characters in Your Story – The best way to Apply Storytelling to Your Venture, Half 4

Ready to get a best solution for your business?