THREE-ACT STRUCTURE | Author LaQueisha Malone


Break your story down into three story ACTs. These acts will help guide your story. Act Ishould lead to the lead to the incident that pushes you Lead into the middle. Act IIis the battle of the opposing forces. Act IIIusually the major setback, crisis, or forces that enables the final battle.


  • Introduce the Lead in a compelling way.
  • Present the story world – say something about the setting and the time.
  • Establish the tone the reader will rely on.
  • Compel the reader to move to move on to the middle.
  • Introduce the opposite.


  • Deepen character relationships.
  • Keep us caring about what happens.
  • Set up the final battle that will wrap things up at the end.


  • Present the final battle.
  • Tie up any loose ends.
  • Leave readers with a feeling of satisfaction.

This form of outlining can help keep your story structured. It can take some time to learn, but it can offer a roadmap. Your characters may change you mind, but a common goal is formed and navigation to the end is easier to see with this method.

Not everyone uses outlines. Some authors just write and let the characters tell the story, but by the end, they can break their story down into these three acts.



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