Why structure is important for your play, film or story

A few months back, we blogged about how to create suspense in your play or story. Keeping the audience on the edge of their seat is crucial for any narrative to work properly. Here at Spur, we’ve provided props for some really innovative and creative organisations, and we know how long and difficult the creative process can be.

Writing for the stage or screen isn’t just a spontaneous act of creative genius, though it may sometimes seem that way to the casual observer. In fact, the craft of building a script is not that far removed from the craft of designing and building a prop, or a set. It involves knowing your component parts, and understanding how they fit together.

That’s what story structure is, and how we use it to create great plots and take characters on amazing journeys.

So that’s why we’ve put together an infographic explaining story structure and how it breaks down into its component parts.

So this is a cast-iron rule? 

Not exactly. There are a few different versions of this structure. For example, some film and theatre bibles will tell you that you can tell your story in three acts, as opposed to the five act version we've shown you here. But, either way, the broad outline of the story is the same. Your character will go on a journey, reach a cross-roads where they have to make a pivotal decision in the middle, and face a final battle in the end.