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Some lawyers stay up at night trying to ruin free society and create new rules. Therefore, here are the disclosures I must have that you probably won't read.

The W Storyboard Structure | *Concept by

I'm pretty sure I've seen this, may have even written about it, but it was fresh to me today. It seemed to simplify the idea of Story Structure for me... after all I am a Pantser

I was going through material for authors, and I came across this awesome concept teaching by; called The W Storyboard Structure (here).

I made this infograph to help me understand it.

  • 1st Trigger Event (>Enter The Problem)
  • 1st Turning Point (>Problem Recovery)
  • 2nd Trigger Event (>Problem Worsens)
  • 2nd Turning Point (> Problem Resolution)
  • Climax > Resolve

1st Trigger Event (>Enter The Problem)

Introduce your Characters normal life, and then interrupt that life with a chaotic event.

This event introduces a specific, problem. You can set up two problems, one minor and one major, but they need to be specific, felt from the start, and resolved at the end of the story.

This event forces your character to leave normal life. He/She cannot return to normal life until after the Resolve, if ever.

The resolution need not be what he/she wants. More on that later.

This event forces your character into reaction, a low point, and all hope will seam lost.

The following events are your character(s) reacting to the event(s) they encounter.

1st Turning Point (>Problem Recovery)

An event with conflict.

This is the lowest point so far. The reacting is complete, and there is nothing left to react to. No direction, no guidance. There is an action hole.

Enter: Hope.

Some new event/conflict introduces new insight, ideas, help/assistance... and a new direction/path is lit for your character.

The character is not trying to solve the problem, not yet. The character is trying to understand the problem better. All actions taken from this point to the next point are taking each next indicated step to understand the problem.

2nd Trigger Event (>Problem Worsens)

The character has been climbing into hope, trying to understand the problem. Hoping for an answer that will eventually lead to a solution.

Enter: Roadblocks

An event causes the character to loose that momentum, and slide back down a hill of defeats. They will keep loosing momentum until they fall to the very bottom of the hill.

2nd Turning Point (> Problem Resolution)

The Rock Bottom.

All hope of solving this problem is gone. All efforts that looked like they would help only made things worse.

At this point, the character is resigned to his/her fate.

Enter: Hope

Then something happens to make your character hope again. A new angle, new solution, new idea, new path, something he/she hadn't thought of yet.

It's not a solution to The Problem, not yet. But it's a solution to the current pit, and it gives the character a new path to follow, trail to hunt down.

This is your character's climb back up.

Climax > Resolve

Just before the end, there is a final conflict, the largest so far. This time the problem is faced head on, and it is resolved.

But, this problem may never be solved.

The resolution may be that your character needs to learn to adapt and live with this problem. (Permanent injury, loss of a job/wife/child, etc).

Or it may be that your character can return to his/her life, but there is a soul-wound left from these events.

The final scenes are a natural reaction to the events of the entire story, and they allow the character/reader to breath a sigh of relief... for now.

Post Credits Scene:

One final scene sets up a new issue, a new trigger event... and story two will be under a different set up covers.



Reading List



Some lawyers stay up at night trying to ruin free society and create new rules. Therefore, here are the disclosures I must have that you probably won't read.

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Darrell's Reading List

Here are some books I've been reading lately:
  • Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). The story of a young Hacker girl, who went on a wild adventure into the supernatural realm beyond trying to save her mom, but saved her self too in the process.
  • Saint: A Paradise Novel (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). He's an assassin, or is he? He finds a secret to his past that unlocks supernatural abilities, at a cost.
  • For a full list of all my book suggestions, see my Amazon Store.

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The W Story Structure - 4 Sequence Story Structure

Out of everything I've ever read on story structure for fiction writing, the W-Story Structure makes the most sense to me. If you'd rather view these as Acts (3-Act or 4-Act) you can overlay that on this W and it still works.

Glen C. Strathy writes (in much more detail here) in his article, The W-Plot vs. The Dramatica Model of Story Structure. There are four sequences for most stories. Each of the four legs of the W is comprised of a sequence of events that lead the story along to it's natural conclusion.

Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)Sequence 2: recovering from the problem (new ideas, positive momentum)Sequence 3: deepening of the problemSequence 4: the resolution of the problem (new light or understanding)

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