The first time I heard about the Seven Point Story Structure was through a presentation Dan Wells did a couple of years ago. I saw the presentation in a series of clips on Youtube (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5). Watch it, it’s a great and informative presentation.
The Seven Point Story Structure is named so because it consists of seven important points that build the story from beginning to end. With the help of this structure you will map out the core of your story.
Below follows a short overview of the Seven Point Story Structure.
The Parts of the Seven Point Story Structure
Hook — Your character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
Plot turn 1 — The event that sets your story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. You introduce the conflict and your character’s world changes. This is basically when you character sets out on his/her journey.
Pinch point 1 — This is where you apply pressure. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
Midpoint — Your character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
Pinch point 2 — This is where you apply more pressure. Your story takes the ultimate dive. Your character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.
Plot turn 2 — Here you move the story from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. Your character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.
Resolution — This is the climax of your story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, your character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.
Instructions on How to Work With the Seven Point Story Structure
In order for this structure to work effectively, start at the end, with the Resolution, first before you write down the beginning, the Hook. By starting with the Resolution you can make sure that your main character begins the story at the opposite end of where he/she will finish the story (if he/she ends strong he/she should start weak).
The next step is to write down the Midpoint before you write down the Plot turns. Since the Midpoint is central to your story because Plot turn 1 leads to the Midpoint and Plot turn 2 leads away from the Midpoint to the Resolution it will be easier to outline your story if you have the Midpoint before you think about the Plot turns.
At last, write down the two Pinch points to apply more pressure to your story.
In conclusion, this is the easiest and most effective order in which you write down the events in the Seven Point Story Structure:
- Plot turn 1
- Plot turn 2
- Pinch point 1
- Pinch point 2