So although I’m a latecomer, I’ve become a big fan of the Writing Excuses podcast, hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. The most recent episode discusses Dan Wells’s Seven Point Story Structure. Apparently, it’s a structure that Dan discovered from a role-playing game, but he has since learned that it’s a pretty common tool for screenwriters. And as you can guess, it’s a list of seven points that every story should have.
This episode was inspired by editor Lou Anders’s confusion about the technique. And I’ll admit that after the first run-through of the structure, I was confused too, but the hosts apply the structure to a story brainstorming structure, and it made more sense.
Nevertheless, if you are still confused by the program, Dan explains the structure in a series of five ten-minute-long videos. Check out the first video below.
Oh, and why was Lou Anders requesting the structure discussion? It’s because last season (before I started listening), there was an episode that discussed the Hollywood Method of plotting. Like all Writing Excuses episodes, it’s only 20 minutes long, so listen in for a quick lesson. Then you can compare and contrast between methods.
I hope you enjoy these plotting methods. Hopefully they will help you tighten up your stories.