Thursday, May 20, 2010

Narrative Arc

I summarize the last three posts—and my study of "beginning, middle, and end" with excellent notes from an Alan Rinzler blog on Narrative Arc. (

The “narrative arc” is a fancy way of saying that every story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end.

In a successful narrative arc, the hero or heroine is confronted with
  • Dangerous threats,
  • Seductive choices,
  • Major decisions,
  • Necessary feats of physical bravery, or
  • Emotionally powerful assaults from family or social pressure.
A good story needs to:
  • Start with a bang
  • Quickly accelerate to a level of action
  • Have moments of drama and suspense that keep rising in intensity
  • Sustain a high pitch
  • Level off
  • Gradually come down to earth in an emotionally satisfying closure and denouement
Write Every Day!


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