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Applying 7-point Story Structure to a Series?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by OldRodKS, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. OldRodKS

    OldRodKS New Member

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    Hello, everyone, I'm new here :)

    I've written a couple of NaNoWriMo novels, but nothing that's worth publishing (yet). I'm currently working on plotting out a 3-book fantasy story and I am in need of some advice.

    I've been studying Dan Well's Seven-Point Story Structure, and I can wrap my head around that in a single-novel setting, but when I start to apply it to a 3-book story, with more than one main character, I'm having some problems.

    Does anyone know of a good example I could look at where someone has applied this structure to a multi-book series with multiple main characters?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I use Star Wars as my example for every narrative convention (especially when it comes to trilogies) so I'll try to apply it here...
    - A NEW HOPE -
    1. Hook: where the character starts off
    - Luke: farm boy nobody
    - Han: selfish smuggler
    - Leia: captured rebel leader
    - Vader: evil cartoon-y villain.

    2. Plot turn 1: arc is set into motion
    - Luke: meets Obi-Wan/trains to be a jedi and joins rebellion/destroys Death Star
    - Han: friendship with Luke and Leia is established
    - Leia: rescued from Death Star, goes to lead rebellion
    - Vader: kills Obi-Wan and becomes aware of Luke

    - EMPIRE STRIKES BACK -
    3. Pinch 1: first major loss/tension is built, character gets direction on what to do next
    - Luke: has a vision that tells him to train with Yoda
    - Han: is on the run from Empire
    - Leia: on the run with Han
    - Vader: is tasked with finding Luke

    4. Mid Point
    - Luke: trains with Yoda before heading to Cloud City
    - Han: romance with Leia and goes to Cloud City
    - Leia: romance with Han and goes to Cloud City
    - Vader: tracks Han and Leia to Cloud City, prepares to meet with Luke

    5. Pinch 2: character suffers most critical lost, must go from passive to proactive
    - Luke: loses fight to Vader
    - Han: frozen in carbonite
    - Leia: loses Han
    - Vader: Luke doesn't join him

    - RETURN OF THE JEDI -
    6. Plot turn 2: characters take action to get what they want
    - Luke: must confront Vader to become a Jedi
    - Han: conflict with Jabba is resolved
    - Leia: helps rescuing Han
    - Vader: meets with emperor to prepare for showdown with Luke

    7. Resolution
    - Luke and Vader: Luke redeems Vader and establishes himself as a Jedi in the process
    - Han and Leia: get together, rebellion defeats empire

    So, how's that?
     
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  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    Good question, and I hope someone has a non-movie example. Most of the multi-book series I can think of used structure within each book of the series, leaving something open-ended at the end of each book enough to continue the story in the sequel. I've read comments by some readers who vehemently don't wish to read a series of books where each book does not have its own satisfying conclusion, even if there is some overarching plot left unfinished. So not only are you looking at having a story structure with a plot that spans three books, you're looking for a plot with sub-plots, one per book, that also adhere to story structure.
     
  4. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Terry Goodkind used the Star Wars style Structure in his Sword of Truth Series. Each book finished in a conclusive way, where you felt it had a satisfying conclusion to that plot, but there was still a larger, over arching series plot. The series is not for everyone. There is a lot of criticism about it. But from a plotting perspective it was perfection. I'm a big time plotter and love concise little packages like that.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  5. OldRodKS

    OldRodKS New Member

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    Thanks WooHooMan.

    I was thinking more of an arc for each book, along with an overall arc for the series, but that makes sense the way you did it.
     
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'm thinking that if you're planning a three book series, it'd make more sense to apply a three act structure to the series as a whole, and then the seven point structure to the individual parts.
     

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