Oct 9, 2011

On Writing: STORY STRUCTURE (Part 2)

The Eight–Point Structure applied to YA Dystopian novel DIVERGENT


Normal life of Beatrice/ introduces her society/ the problem

Picking Dauntless

Going to Dauntless/ discovering what it is like to be Dauntless/ Meeting Four

Finding out she is divergent/Getting beat up at practices/ Learning to fight/ eventually learns how to win a fight/ Finding out her mother is divergent

Critical choice
Chooses to fight back and win the contest to become a Dauntless

She's almost killed/ her mother dies/Four loses his mind/she finds out who the antagonist/ fights/witnesses many people dying

Things are still bad. Even though her mother is dead she's still moving on. Reversal is basically how the character is like when everything is wrong because right after the climax things aren’t automatically get better.

Enemy is deterred (for now), Trice and Four are safe, and she is not at all the same person she was in the beginning of the book. Sets up for the next book.

Do you ever notice the structure as you're reading a book? If not, try to look for the 8 points the next time you read a book so you have a good idea of how it's done. You can find these structure point in almost every novel you read.



  1. Fun question. I don't think my mind can keep that many facets juggling at once. I'm more an act I, act II, act III reader and writer.

  2. I used that method before as well. I was writing a screenplay when I realized a lot of the planning that goes into making a screenplay can also be applied to novel-writing. I make note of the 8 turning points after I've finished reading a book instead of during because like you my mind is too focused on enjoying the story to pay attention to extra details. :)

  3. Wow, this is awesome! I'm aware of the Hollywood formula and the Shakespearean "acts" formula, but this is the first time I've seen this 8-pointer. very helpful.

  4. Too good... Very clear and crisp for everyone to understand...


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