Dan Wells Seven Point Story Structure

What is the Seven Point Story Structure?

seven point story structure

Dan Wells popularized the seven point story structure in a multi-part video series you can find here: https://youtu.be/KcmiqQ9NpPE

The basic premise of the Seven Point Story Structure is as follows: credit to https://thewritingkylie.com/

Hook — Your character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.

Plot turn 1 — The event that sets your story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. You introduce the conflict and your character’s world changes. This is basically when you character sets out on his/her journey.

Pinch point 1 — This is where you apply pressure. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.

Midpoint — Your character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.

Pinch point 2 — This is where you apply more pressure. Your story takes the ultimate dive. Your character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.

Plot turn 2 — Here you move the story from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. Your character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.

Resolution — This is the climax of your story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, your character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.

Let’s break that down with examples from Harry Potter as Dan Wells did in his video series:

In the first book of Harry Potter, we have the Hook: A baby is left defenseless at a doorstep on a cold winter night by Dumbledore, a strange man with strange powers.

Then we get to our first Plot Turn (1): A letter from Hogwarts arrives and we get to see that Harry Potter has a chance at making his life more exciting. He decides to enter this fantasy world through Platform 9 and 3/4 and everything is new and exciting.

Then the pressure gets applied with the first Pinch Point (1): An antagonist appears. Harry Potter’s scar hurts when he looks at Professor Snape, who is sitting next to another Professor.

Harry Potter goes from reactive to proactive in the Mid-Point: Harry figures out that the package he received from Hagrid is the Sorcerors Stone. The Stone is what Voldermort wants and he decides to protect it at all costs.

The antagonistic forces rear their heads again in the second Pinch Point (2): Someone is cursing Harry off his broom while he’s playing Quidditch. We think it’s Snape doing it, but Professor Quirrell is there as well.

The “We’re all going to die”, “all hope is lost” moment comes with the second Plot Turn (2): Harry learns that Hagrid has told someone how to get past Fluffy, so the Stone is unsafe. Harry must act.

Harry Potter realizes he has the final pieces of information he needs to save the day and set out to do what he wanted to do in the Midpoint. The story leads into the Resolution: Harry fights Quirrel and Voldemort at the mirror. He wins the day. The rest of the story is spent tying up any loose ends and promising a better tomorrow with Voldemort gone. For the time being.

The Seven Point Story Structure has helped many writers get a kickstart on their writing journey. Plotting is an important part of writing, even if you write from the hip and hate outlining, it’s good to have a semblance of structure.

Head over to livingwriter.com and pick the Seven Point Structure and we’ll map everything out for you as well as provide you with nifty little tidbits for each plot point.

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