Pacing is about how fast your story moves; escalation is about how intense your story gets.
Ideally, you want your story to move faster as it draws to an end. The easiest way to do that is to move the turning points closer together as the story gets closer to its climax.
Here is Jane’s plot as we last left it: Continue reading
A linear plot moves because one scene causes the next.
Cause and Effect ties the events of your story together. If our protagonist Jane tries one thing and it doesn’t work, so she tries a different thing, and that doesn’t work, she’s returning to the same place she was in the beginning. But if she tries something, and the impact of her success or failure changes her, teaches her something, then that event will lead to her next decision and her next move. Continue reading
A Turning Point is a Scene that’s a Big Event, something so huge that it turns the story and the character in a new direction, essentially reinventing the story.
Linear structure is the chronological, cause-and-effect ordering of the events of your story.
Aristotle agreed with the Red King (or would have if they’d known each other). He said that a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end:
• The beginning is the point before which nothing important to the story has happened.
• The end is the point after which nothing important to the story will happen.
• And the middle is the way the characters get from the first important event in the beginning to the last important event at the end. Continue reading
Structure is the way writers organize their plots (the events of their stories). It’s the skeleton that supports and shapes the narrative. There are dozens of different kinds of structures; the key is finding which one best fits the story you want to tell. Continue reading