In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling. Case studies, I think, are a great way to learn the structure of stories. So, let’s get down to business.
Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Hook — The character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
- In Harry Potter — Harry is an orphan who lives under the stairs and has a sad and boring life.
Plot turn 1 — The event that sets the story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. The conflict is introduced and the character’s world changes. This is basically when the character sets out on his/her journey.
- In Harry Potter — Harry finds out he’s a wizard. He arrives at King’s Cross to catch the Hogwarts Express for the first time. This is the point of no return, the moment when everything changes for him.
Pinch point 1 — This is where more pressure is applied. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
- In Harry Potter — Harry, Ron and Hermione fight the troll. Later we realize that Professor Quirell (who is in alliance with Voldemort) let the troll into the school, which introduces the antagonist without the reader’s knowledge at that point.
Midpoint — The character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
- In Harry Potter — Harry learns the truth about the Sorcerer’s stone and he vows to protect it from Voldemort, whom Harry sees drinking unicorn blood.
Pinch point 2 — This is where even more pressure is applied. The story takes the ultimate dive. The character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.
- In Harry Potter — Harry loses Ron and Hermione to the tests in the dungeon. He is now all alone but must forge on.
Plot turn 2 — Here the story moves from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. The character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.
- In Harry Potter — Harry sees in the mirror that the stone is in his pocket.
Resolution — This is the climax of the story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, the character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.
- In Harry Potter — Harry defeats Voldemort.
Download the FREE Seven Point Story Structure Template to use on your own story!
There you have it. Hopefully it’s helped you to see how the Seven Point Story Structure works.