Words to describe facial expressions
Agonized: as if in pain or tormented
Alluring: attractive, in the sense of arousing desire
Appealing: attractive, in the sense of encouraging goodwill and/or interest
Black: angry or sad, or hostile
Blinking: surprise, or lack of concern
Blithe: carefree, lighthearted, or heedlessly indifferent
Brooding: anxious and gloomy
Bug eyed: frightened or surprised
Chagrined: humiliated or disappointed
Cheeky: cocky, insolent
Choleric: hot-tempered, irate
Darkly: with depressed or malevolent feelings
Deadpan: expressionless, to conceal emotion or heighten humor
Despondent: depressed or discouraged
Doleful: sad or afflicted
Dour: stern or obstinate
Dreamy: distracted by daydreaming or fantasizing
Ecstatic: delighted or entranced
Faint: cowardly, weak, or barely perceptible
Fixed: concentrated or immobile
Gazing: staring intently
Glancing: staring briefly as if curious but evasive
Glazed: expressionless due to fatigue or confusion
Grim: fatalistic or pessimistic
Grave: serious, expressing emotion due to loss or sadness
Haunted: frightened, worried, or guilty
Hopeless: depressed by a lack of encouragement or optimism
Hostile: aggressively angry, intimidating, or resistant
Hunted: tense as if worried about pursuit
Jeering: insulting or mocking
Languid: lazy or weak
Leering: sexually suggestive
Mischievous: annoyingly or maliciously playful
Pained: affected with discomfort or pain
Peering: with curiosity or suspicion
Pleading: seeking apology or assistance
Quizzical: questioning or confused
Radiant: bright, happy
Sanguine: bloodthirsty, confident
Vacant: blank or stupid looking
Wan: pale, sickly
Wary: cautious or cunning
Wide eyed: frightened or surprised
Wrathful: indignant or vengeful
Wry: twisted or crooked to express cleverness or a dark or ironic feeling
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Story Structures for your Next WIP
hello, hello. this post will be mostly for my notes. this is something I need in to be reminded of for my business, but it can also be very useful and beneficial for you guys as well.
everything in life has structure and storytelling is no different, so let’s dive right in :)
First off let’s just review what a story structure is :
a story is the backbone of the story, the skeleton if you will. It hold the entire story together.
the structure in which you choose your story will effectively determine how you create drama and depending on the structure you choose it should help you align your story and sequence it with the conflict, climax, and resolution.
1. Freytag's Pyramid
this first story structure i will be talking about was named after 19th century German novelist and playwright.
it is a five point structure that is based off classical Greek tragedies such as Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripedes.
Freytag's Pyramid structure consists of:
Introduction: the status quo has been established and an inciting incident occurs.
Rise or rising action: the protagonist will search and try to achieve their goal, heightening the stakes,
Climax: the protagonist can no longer go back, the point of no return if you will.
Return or fall: after the climax of the story, tension builds and the story inevitably heads towards...
Catastrophe: the main character has reached their lowest point and their greatest fears have come into fruition.
this structure is used less and less nowadays in modern storytelling mainly due to readers lack of appetite for tragic narratives.
2. The Hero's Journey
the hero's journey is a very well known and popular form of storytelling.
it is very popular in modern stories such as Star Wars, and movies in the MCU.
although the hero's journey was inspired by Joseph Campbell's concept, a Disney executive Christopher Vogler has created a simplified version:
The Ordinary World: The hero's everyday routine and life is established.
The Call of Adventure: the inciting incident.
Refusal of the Call: the hero / protagonist is hesitant or reluctant to take on the challenges.
Meeting the Mentor: the hero meets someone who will help them and prepare them for the dangers ahead.
Crossing the First Threshold: first steps out of the comfort zone are taken.
Tests, Allie, Enemies: new challenges occur, and maybe new friends or enemies.
Approach to the Inmost Cave: hero approaches goal.
The Ordeal: the hero faces their biggest challenge.
Reward (Seizing the Sword): the hero manages to get ahold of what they were after.
The Road Back: they realize that their goal was not the final hurdle, but may have actually caused a bigger problem than before.
Resurrection: a final challenge, testing them on everything they've learned.
Return with the Elixir: after succeeding they return to their old life.
the hero's journey can be applied to any genre of fiction.
3. Three Act Structure:
this structure splits the story into the 'beginning, middle and end' but with in-depth components for each act.
Act 1: Setup:
exposition: the status quo or the ordinary life is established.
inciting incident: an event sets the whole story into motion.
plot point one: the main character decided to take on the challenge head on and she crosses the threshold and the story is now progressing forward.
Act 2: Confrontation:
rising action: the stakes are clearer and the hero has started to become familiar with the new world and begins to encounter enemies, allies and tests.
midpoint: an event that derails the protagonists mission.
plot point two: the hero is tested and fails, and begins to doubt themselves.
Act 3: Resolution:
pre-climax: the hero must chose between acting or failing.
climax: they fights against the antagonist or danger one last time, but will they succeed?
Denouement: loose ends are tied up and the reader discovers the consequences of the climax, and return to ordinary life.
4. Dan Harmon's Story Circle
it surprised me to know the creator of Rick and Morty had their own variation of Campbell's hero's journey.
the benefit of Harmon's approach is that is focuses on the main character's arc.
it makes sense that he has such a successful structure, after all the show has multiple seasons, five or six seasons? i don't know not a fan of the show.
the character is in their comfort zone: also known as the status quo or ordinary life.
they want something: this is a longing and it can be brought forth by an inciting incident.
the character enters and unfamiliar situation: they must take action and do something new to pursue what they want.
adapt to it: of course there are challenges, there is struggle and begin to succeed.
they get what they want: often a false victory.
a heavy price is paid: a realization of what they wanted isn't what they needed.
back to the good old ways: they return to their familiar situation yet with a new truth.
having changed: was it for the better or worse?
i might actually make a operate post going more in depth about dan harmon's story circle.
5. Fichtean Curve:
the fichtean curve places the main character in a series of obstacles in order to achieve their goal.
this structure encourages writers to write a story packed with tension and mini-crises to keep the reader engaged.
The Rising Action
the story must start with an inciting indecent.
then a series of crisis arise.
there are often four crises.
2. The Climax:
3. Falling Action
this type of story telling structure goes very well with flash-back structured story as well as in theatre.
6. Save the Cat Beat Sheet:
this is another variation of a three act structure created by screenwriter Blake Snyder, and is praised widely by champion storytellers.
Structure for Save the Cat is as follows: (the numbers in the brackets are for the number of pages required, assuming you're writing a 110 page screenplay)
Opening Image : The first shot of the film. If you’re starting a novel, this would be an opening paragraph or scene that sucks readers into the world of your story.
Set-up [1-10]. Establishing the ‘ordinary world’ of your protagonist. What does he want? What is he missing out on?
Theme Stated . During the setup, hint at what your story is really about — the truth that your protagonist will discover by the end.
Catalyst . The inciting incident!
Debate [12-25]. The hero refuses the call to adventure. He tries to avoid the conflict before they are forced into action.
Break into Two . The protagonist makes an active choice and the journey begins in earnest.
B Story . A subplot kicks in. Often romantic in nature, the protagonist’s subplot should serve to highlight the theme.
The Promise of the Premise [30-55]. Often called the ‘fun and games’ stage, this is usually a highly entertaining section where the writer delivers the goods. If you promised an exciting detective story, we’d see the detective in action. If you promised a goofy story of people falling in love, let’s go on some charmingly awkward dates.
Midpoint . A plot twist occurs that ups the stakes and makes the hero’s goal harder to achieve — or makes them focus on a new, more important goal.
Bad Guys Close In [55-75]. The tension ratchets up. The hero’s obstacles become greater, his plan falls apart, and he is on the back foot.
All is Lost . The hero hits rock bottom. He loses everything he’s gained so far, and things are looking bleak. The hero is overpowered by the villain; a mentor dies; our lovebirds have an argument and break up.
Dark Night of the Soul [75-85-ish]. Having just lost everything, the hero shambles around the city in a minor-key musical montage before discovering some “new information” that reveals exactly what he needs to do if he wants to take another crack at success. (This new information is often delivered through the B-Story)
Break into Three . Armed with this new information, our protagonist decides to try once more!
Finale [85-110]. The hero confronts the antagonist or whatever the source of the primary conflict is. The truth that eluded him at the start of the story (established in step three and accentuated by the B Story) is now clear, allowing him to resolve their story.
Final Image . A final moment or scene that crystallizes how the character has changed. It’s a reflection, in some way, of the opening image.
(all information regarding the save the cat beat sheet was copy and pasted directly from reedsy!)
7. Seven Point Story Structure:
this structure encourages writers to start with the at the end, with the resolution, and work their way back to the starting point.
this structure is about dramatic changes from beginning to end
The Hook. Draw readers in by explaining the protagonist’s current situation. Their state of being at the beginning of the novel should be in direct contrast to what it will be at the end of the novel.
Plot Point 1. Whether it’s a person, an idea, an inciting incident, or something else — there should be a "Call to Adventure" of sorts that sets the narrative and character development in motion.
Pinch Point 1. Things can’t be all sunshine and roses for your protagonist. Something should go wrong here that applies pressure to the main character, forcing them to step up and solve the problem.
Midpoint. A “Turning Point” wherein the main character changes from a passive force to an active force in the story. Whatever the narrative’s main conflict is, the protagonist decides to start meeting it head-on.
Pinch Point 2. The second pinch point involves another blow to the protagonist — things go even more awry than they did during the first pinch point. This might involve the passing of a mentor, the failure of a plan, the reveal of a traitor, etc.
Plot Point 2. After the calamity of Pinch Point 2, the protagonist learns that they’ve actually had the key to solving the conflict the whole time.
Resolution. The story’s primary conflict is resolved — and the character goes through the final bit of development necessary to transform them from who they were at the start of the novel.
(all information regarding the seven point story structure was copy and pasted directly from reedsy!)
i decided to fit all of them in one post instead of making it a two part post.
i hope you all enjoy this post and feel free to comment or reblog which structure you use the most, or if you have your own you prefer to use! please share with me!
if you find this useful feel free to reblog on instagram and tag me at perpetualstories
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