Story Structures
Story Structures

Analyzing Story Beats

Whether it’s on your own stories or someone else’s, learning how to analyze the beats of a story can be an important tool in a writer’s toolbox. First of all, what do I mean by story beats? Story beats are not the plot. In fact, you can map out the beats of a story without talking about the plot at all. Story beats are shifts in tone, in action, in emotion. They are the highs and lows and the movement between those points that make a story enjoyable or tragic or comedic or whatever it is determined to be by...

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The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is a story structure based on Joseph Campbell’s seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, where he lays out the commonalities to stories, myths, and legends that have been told for thousands of years. The structure works because of that: there is something in the structures and archetypes contained in the Hero’s Journey that continue to resonate, even in the modern mind. 50,000 years is an evolutionary eyeblink; we are not so different from our ancestors who told these tales around the life-giving fire, or scrawled them in pictograms on cave walls. Campbell’s work was adapted...

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