The Story Structure Countdown: How Different ‘Experts’ Say You Should Structure a Story

This article about story structure stuck with me a while; when used with the Writer’s Journey by Chris Vogler and Michael Hauge’s story stucture this makes a “spicy and meatier” stew. This article is a good supplement to Vogler and Hauge. Also check out a site called and the free film school. I got the DVD set and the workbook by Sherri Sheridan. I have two other story structure authors I’ll mention in my blog. These five story artists/crafters are screen writers and authors. It doesn’t matter. I wish someone made this clear when I started out–learn all the elelments of a story and then tell/write the story in whatever format screenplay or novel or graphic novel. Learn story first! Peace!


The Story Structure Countdown

Lots of people have come up with lots of ways to map, chart, categorize, name and formulate story patterns and structures. (also see my Comparative Narrative Story Structure Chart for a graphic side-by-side exploration) – and if you like this, it’s just the tip of the iceberg of writer’s resources in Miller’s Compendium of Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer(Kickstarting now!).

Some of these structures are obviously and/or explicitly derived from others and some feature similar story beats with different names, but I find they all have something to offer – at least conceptually.

I’ve never personally been able to directly apply any one of these to any of my own writing projects or to any clients’ work. I’ve found that all but the most formulaic writing projects have their own unique structure which has to be discovered during the creative process.

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