Dear Group, I am new to this group and relatively new to creative writing so bear with me. I've read more than a few "how to" books and I've noticed that the Dwight Swain/Jack Bickham method calls for alternating scenes and sequels (sometimes called action scenes and reaction scenes). Using this method, in the scene (action scene), the following structure is mandatory: 1. Goal 2. Conflict 3. Disaster/Setback/Catastrophe #1 and #2 I get and as I read commercial fiction I can see conflict in 90% of what I read. My question relates to #3. First, I don't generally see this in the commercial fiction I see, or if I do, it's far from obvious. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. I have yet to read a novel where I can see this structure in every scene consistently, throughout. Are there examples of authors/novels that strictly follow the Swain/Bickham method? Second, in plotting my story, I have a hard time making every scene end in a setback for the lead character. Sometimes, to move the plot along, good things have to happen to the lead character. For example, say my lead character is in prison and I want him out of prison. How do I do this in a scene and still have a setback. It's hard to call getting out of prison a setback. Is the answer that I use summary/narrative to get him out of prison? Or do I amend the plot so he doesn't get out of prison or was never in prison? Or am I putting too much weight on one system. I'm the type of person who likes to work within a strict structure when I'm learning something and only after I gain a certain level of skill do I feel comfortable varying. Many thanks in advance from a newbie!