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.
The Hunger Games
Hook — The character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
In The Hunger Games — Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute when her younger sister’s name is chosen to participate in the games. Peeta gets chosen as the male tribute.
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 The Hunger Games — An untruthful romantic connection between Katniss and Peeta is revealed and performed in front of the viewers during the opening ceremonies of the games. Then they enter the game and Katniss delve deep into the woods to bide her time as much as possible.
Pinch point 1 — This is where more pressure is applied. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
In The Hunger Games — After some tributes have died, Katniss is forced to leave her safe environment when a wall of fire, accompanied by fireballs, send her in a certain direction. This is a way for the Gamemaker (and the Capitol) to ensure that the game doesn’t get boring to watch and that the tributes are forced to face one another. The careers and Peeta find Katniss and chase her up a tree where she saws a home of tracker jackers down upon them. While the Capitol (with the president and the dictatorial rule he conducts) is the biggest antagonist in the trilogy, the careers are the close by antagonists that Katniss have to face in this story.
Midpoint — The character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
In The Hunger Games — Katniss allies with Rue, a girl that remind Katniss of her younger sister. They figure out a way to even out the odds between them and the rest of the tributes. They decide to destroy the supplies by the Cornucopia that the careers were using to survive.
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 The Hunger Games — Rue is killed in front of Katniss. Katniss reacts by killing the boy that killed Rue. Katniss is emotionally scarred by Rue’s death and devices a burial for the girl by placing flowers over her body. This is a rebellious act against the Capitol.
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 The Hunger Games — The Gamemaker announces a change in the rules. He states that two tributes from the same district can team up and be declared as winners of the games if they are the last two standing. Katniss seeks out Peeta and finds him seriously injured. She nurses him back to health — continuing the performance of their fabricated romance — and risks her life to get some medicine that he needs. The Gamemaker then dries up the water around Katniss and Peeta in order to force them to go to the lake at the center of the arena. There they know that they will face Cato, the last tribute they need to fight to win.
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 The Hunger Games — Katniss, Peeta, and Cato are chased by wolf-like creatures. They climb the Cornucopia to find safety. While Cato uses Peeta as a negotiation tactic to control the situation, Katniss shoots him in the hand. Cato falls down and gets mauled. He doesn’t die at first — he survives through the night — and ultimately Katniss shoots him to put him out of his misery. When Katniss and Peeta are the last two standing, there is a twist delivered. The Gamemaker announces that the rules have changed back to the usual where there can only be one winner. Katniss and Peeta threatens with dual suicide by deciding to eat poisonous berries. The Gamemaker stops them and declare that they are both winners. This act of rebellion by Katniss is the reason she will have to play into the lie of being hopelessly in love with Peeta in order for the Capitol not to come after them.
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There you have it. Hopefully it’s helped you to see how the Seven Point Story Structure works.
Do you think case studies of stories are a great way to learn story structure? Do you have any thoughts on this case study?
Do you want a Scrivener or Microsoft Word template that will help you with your story’s structure?
The Story Structure Template is designed to help you create and develop your story and its structure.
It includes a template for the Three Act Structure, one for the Seven Point Story Structure, and one for The Hero’s Journey structure so that you easily create or develop your story from the structure you like best.