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How To Write Stories #2: Story Structure

Ryan Dave Jimenez

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This is the second entry in a series on how to make your own web manga.

Now that you have a story idea we can start expanding it. For the sake of continuity, let’s say my chosen story idea is:

Quote

A manga where the main hero is trying to get in the NBA. (taken from the previous blog post)


We have an idea. Not a story. In its current form, it’s useless. It doesn’t give us much information. We have to take it from concept to actualization. We can do this by adding structure.

Basic Story Structure


Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Think of your favorite movie, book, or anime. They all have that. It’s what separates a good story from a bad one. Stories that don’t follow this tend to be incomplete and confusing.

 

Beginning
Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy. He’s quite tall and gets bullied for it constantly. This makes him want to quit school.

 

Middle
One day he meets a transfer student named Hayato who is also tall. Hayato shows him an NBA game. This motivates Takeji to learn the sport of basketball. With Hayato’s help he gets ready to try out for his school’s basketball club.

 

End
Takeji makes the cut and is accepted into the club. However, he also realizes how far he is from making it into the NBA. He has a lot to improve on first. This was only the first step of his long journey.

 

Try reading this story again but skip the middle part. Confusing isn’t it? Club? What club? He wants to make it in the NBA? But why? I thought he wanted to quit school?

Try reading it without the end part. It feels unfinished right? It makes you want to know what happened next. Was that it? That’s the whole story? Did he make his school’s basketball club?

 

What is the “Beginning” for?
This is where you do the introductions. Where does your story take place? Show the time period and setting. Reveal the main character and side characters. Give a taste of what people can expect.

 

What is the “Middle” for?
This is where you tell your story. This part will be longer than the beginning and end. The climax (highlight) of the story takes place here. The middle is the part that people find the most exciting.

 

What is the “End” for?
This is where you wrap things up. And provide a satisfying ending. You can also setup a sequel here. Like what I did in my example. Your story’s message should have already been delivered at this point.

 

Our story idea has now been transformed into a complete story. Albeit a very short story. Next stop is to flesh it out some more.

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