Visual Structure Planning: Story Maps
Do the phrases “Story Structure” and “Character Arc” send adrenaline thrumming through your veins, or cause your stomach to drop in free-fall? Either way, it doesn’t matter! Story Maps is a structure-loving writer’s dream AND the answer to a struggling writer’s planning woes.
Most writers would agree that applying structure, either intuitively or through deliberate planning, results in a more powerful story. The problem is there are many types of structure models, and not all look at both inner character development (character arc) as well as the outer story events. Story Maps does both, and so we hope this will make things a bit easier, helping writers visualize as they plan so they know exactly where to go next in their story.
Adapted from the amazing Hollywood story expert Michael Hauge’s 6-Stage Plot Structure, we lead you through important turning points, providing guidance on outer events and inner character transformation.
The Story Map covers three character arc types: the Change Arc (inner transformation), the Static Arc (action-focus, little growth) and the Failed Arc (a tragedy ending). As you can see below, at each Stage or Turning Point, you can access helpful plotting hints as you plan, and see an example of A Few Good Men broken down by structure points.
Once you finish filling in the structure pieces, you can transform your plan into a Map, or download it as a PDF. What could be easier?
Did I mention there’s a 2-Week Free Trial?
If you would like to test Story Maps for yourself, stop by and activate the trial.
Or take a tour of the site first! You’ll find our walkthrough below. Happy writing!