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 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Hook — The character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — Four siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie—are evacuated from London during World War II and is to live on the countryside with a professor Digory Kirke. One day, Lucy enters a wardrobe and finds herself in the land of Narnia where she befriends a faun named Tumnus. There, she finds out there is a wicked witch—the White Witch—who has ruled for years, using magic to keep Narnia in everlasting winter.
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 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — During a game of hide-and-seek, Lucy walks through the wardrobe again. Her brother Edmunds follows, disbelieving her story about Narnia, and meets Jadis who calls herself Queen of Narnia (but she is actually the White Witch). When she learns he has two sisters and one brother, she places an enchantment on him. When he and Lucy come back from Narnia into their real world again, he realizes the woman he met and the White Witch Lucy talks about is one and the same person. However, he denies having been in Narnia.
Pinch point 1 — This is where more pressure is applied. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — When all four of the Pevensie children enter the wardrobe and finally come into Narnia, they discover that the White Witch has taken Tumnus.
Midpoint — The character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — Taken in by talking beavers, the siblings find out the prophecy that says that Jadis’s power will fall when two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve take the thrones at Cair Paravel. Edmund deserts his sibling and escape to the White Witch’s castle while the others are deciding to travel to seek Aslan—the great lion and rightful King—by the Stone Table.
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 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — The Witch’s spell over Narnia is beginning to break as the three children travel to the Stone Table. When Aslan hears about Edmund’s situation, he immediately orders a rescue party of loyal Narnians. After Edmund has been rescued from the White Witch and been reunited with his siblings, the White Witch approaches in truce to parley with Aslan. She believes she holds the right to kill Edmund, and Aslan bargains with his own life to save the boy. Aslan is killed at the Stone Table.
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 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — The White Witch leads her army away to battle, sure she will win. After returning to life, Aslan carries Susan and Lucy to the Witch’s castle where they find the stone statues the Witch has turned living people and creatures into. Aslan restores the stone statues back to life.
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 Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — Peter and Edmund are in battle with the Witch’s army. Edmund is seriously wounded before Aslan arrives with the former statues as reinforcements. Aslan kills the White Witch before he turns the stone statues on the battlefield back to life while Lucy heal the wounded by using her magical healing cordial. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are crowned kings and queens of Narnia. Fifteen years later, they come back to the closet. When they step back through the closet, they are children again. Almost no time has passed in the real world while they were in Narnia.
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.