The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture once in which he discussed the shapes of stories. Stories of all types, he points out, have very nice curves that can be plotted on a chart. His thoughts apply to screenplays, novels, poems, and everything in between.
Learn from Vonnegut’s example. You may have a brilliant idea that you think breaks all the molds of what stories are supposed to be. Trust me — it doesn’t. Or if it truly does, it’s probably not a very compelling story.
Novice writers are always dead set on coming up with a new type of story, something that has never been done before. That’s not our job. That’s not any writer’s job. Create new characters, certainly, new battles to be fought, but don’t waste time and energy trying to restructure what a story is.
If you’re struggling with the structure of your story, here are a few more resources to help you plot it out:
- Structuring Your Script with the Dan Harmon Story Circle
- 15 Types of Inciting Incidents
- A Fresh Take on the Save the Cat Beat Sheet
- 50 Resources to Help You Outline Your Script