Story Structure—Robert Dugoni
The way he presented this stuff was super simplified and somehow he didn’t leave anything out. He’s an excellent speaker and easy on the eyes to boot. His passion for writing/story is apparent, and to me, that made all the difference in his class. The Wizard of Oz and Lord of the Rings were frequently used as examples.
We tell a story to entertain. We entertain through out characters. What is a story? It’s the MCs journey. Internal- character motivation and External-the plot.
The Beginning—what should it do? It should show what kind of book this will be (within the first few chapters).
[Not necessarily in this order, it through the first Act]
1. Ordinary World-who/what/where is your main character
2. Call to Adventure-what sets the story in motion
3. Refusal of the Call- “Uh-oh. This isn’t gonna be easy.”
4. Mentor- enter the person who will help them
Beginning—establish the promise or theme
*Who/where is your protagonist?
*What do they want? Why do they want it? What keeps them from getting it?
Middle—develop the promise (MC meets friends/enemies & MC gets tested) The meat of the book.
*You should know who’s story this is by now
*Through line-what is the story ultimately about?
*How is your protagonist going to achieve the goal?
*What are the obstacles(tension)? Who are the enemies? You’re creating hurdles for them, which should escalate toward the climax. This will show what kind of person your character is. They should be constantly thwarted by the antagonist.
*Friends and Mentor help them throughout.
*Somehow isolate the protagonist so that they face the antagonist alone.
*Ends with the Climax.
Ending—fulfills the Promise
*Doesn’t have to be happy. Has to be satisfying.
* The road back- Not out of the woods yet. MC needs to do the rest on her own.
*There are still obstacles to face.
*Mentor shows up. Lesson learned. Goal achieved.
*Have you tied up the loose ends?
*Did you deliver on the promise?
*Was the MC your “actor”?
*I've emailed him to get the handout for this workshop, so I might come back and edit this for clarity later*