How to Start Your Story: Story Structures!

Hey guys!

Today I’m going to be showing you some story structures, which are VERY helpful for writing and planning your story!

Also, so other writers can see this, bump it to the top of the Creator’s Corner and even share it with other users!

Three-Act Structure

This is one of the most common, popular, and helpful structures for creative writers! I use this one in my stories and HIGHLY recommend it!

How to Use the Three-Act Structure

  • Act One (Set Up)
    • Beginning
    • Inciting Incident
    • Second Thoughts
      • Climax of Act One
  • Act Two (Confrontation)
    • Obstacle (Ascending Action)
    • Obstacle
      • Midpoint (Big Twist)
    • Obstacle
    • Disaster
    • Crisis
      • Climax of Act Two
  • Act Three (Resolution)
    • More Ascending Action
      • Climax of Act Three
    • Obstacles (Descending Action)
    • Denouement (Wrap-Up)
    • End

Here’s an example of an actual Three-Act Structure diagram:


Hero’s Journey

This is a common story structure that isn’t very popular to use. It is used in many book series, like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but isn’t always the most ideal for writers.

How to Use the Hero’s Journey Story Structure:

  • The main character (the hero) receives some kind of call to action
  • They are guided throughout by a mentor, who helps to train them and build them up and avoid temptations
  • During a crisis, they earn a victory
  • At their lowest point, where everything seems lost, a turn of events occurs or something is revealed that allows the hero to complete their quest
  • They are rewarded by some god-like or high-up person after completing their quest.

Save the Cat

The general idea of the Save the Cat structure is that you put your main character in a bad situation (up a tree) and then make the situation even WORSE (throw rocks at it). This story structure is used in movies and screenplays, and works great with stories that have visual too (Episode stories!)

How to Use the Save the Cat Structure:

*Start with an ordinary and simple day or world

  • Quickly launch the main character into a spur of events where they must take action
  • Have them take on many challenges
  • Eventually, have the main character lose all hope as the task is too difficult
  • Have them find a way to pull through (i.e. a reason, person, etc.)
  • The main character completes the mission.

Also, whenever they seem like they’ve found a solution, the solution makes things WORSE. Foreshadowing is a key element too. If the character finds a wooden box and tosses it away as nothing, it will probably become important later on.

These are just 3 of the MANY Story Structures there are out there! These are some of the most popular and best to use for creative writing stories. PM me or DM me @brooketurner.writes with any questions!

Write On!


thank you for these tips! this is useful to me as im very disorganized.

sidenote: i think god gave my life the save the cat structure lol



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Thank you! I hope that I’ll now be able to structure my story, because I always just went with the flow and eventually ended up stuck somewhere. :sweat_smile: :woman_facepalming:

I actually learned about the first structure in 5th grade, but I forgot all about it. :sweat_smile:


Sounds good!

I purchased a creative writing booklet that had a lot of helpful stuff, including story structures! Since they are widely known across the writing community and did not belong to the author, I just changed the wording around.