1. ILaughAtTrailers

    ILaughAtTrailers Active Member

    Dec 14, 2015
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    How do you divide the eight-point story arc into chapters?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ILaughAtTrailers, Jul 3, 2016.

    I have my story divided and outlined into the eight-point story arc. For those who need a refresher, here it is in its very general form:
    • Stasis
    • Trigger
    • Quest
    • Surprise
    • Choice
    • Climax
    • Reversal
    • Resolution
    Instead of dividing this into eight chapters, how do you go about it in a different way and add some variety?
  2. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

    Jun 2, 2013
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    I don't get this question. Just write your story and these things are bound to manifest themselves in some shape or form.
  3. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

    Jul 11, 2010
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    Near Sedro Woolley, Washington
    I agree with @Aaron Smith. You're going at this totally bass-ackwards. Forget the so-called "eight-point story arc." Just write your story. If you feel, for some reason, that you have to impose more structure on it than your intuition originally provided, you can arrange such things in a subsequent draft.

    Right now, you're working on a first draft. Don't limit yourself or your imagination. Jump into the deep end and swim. It's liberating! :)
    Oscar Leigh and BayView like this.
  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    I think you're confusing a tool to conceptualize your story with the actual structure of that story.
    Oscar Leigh and ILaughAtTrailers like this.
  5. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    You don't.

    Chapter endings should be designed to get the reader to dive into the next chapter and you're always going to have a lot more chapter endings than plot points. Some of those endings may coincide with a plot point coming to fruition, but as you pointed out, that'll be less than half the time. And the rest of the time, you'll want to end your chapters on some type of question, something that will get your reader thinking, OMG, what's going to happen next, things like:
    • a setback (plan went wrong) and the reader knows the POV character has to regroup,
    • a character is mulling over a decision and right at the end of the chapter, he/she makes it, but you don't say what it is... until the next time that character's POV comes up (whether it's the very next chapter or a few chapters later),
    • just before a reveal: they open a door, go into a cave, walk around a corner (whatever) and a new wrinkle has entered the story... but you make the reader turn to the next chapter (or next POV rotation) to find out what.
    I'm pretty sure there are others, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Just Google "ending a chapter" and you'll find several articles.
    Seraph751 and Oscar Leigh like this.

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