Why do I bring this up? I had never thought that there might be other ways to help structure your novel than the 3-Act story Structure (Really awesome intro to 3-act since it shows how it can be applied to multiple types of plots). That was what I was taught by my writing group and that is really all I learned in high school. I never thought to search for other methods, so I didn't.
Dan Wells's own tool box is called the 7-Point Story Structure. He has a link to download the power point preso, and also another link to the YouTube Playlist of his real life lecture. (I've embedded all 5 after the jump.) The lecture is nice, and the of note: he shows how to adapt the method to other plots such as romance and horror. And the best part is the last slide where he dissects a popular movie and shows how all these things fit into the structure.
Googling revealed several other popular methods:
- The Snowflake Method furnished by Randy Ingermanson. Here you are basically starting with the kernel of your story, and building onto it in layers (more of a snowball than snowflake in my opinion but he has a pretty diagram that helps make that leap).
- There is also another version of the 7-Point Point Story Structure too (provided by my local mentor Wendy Wheeler). This version is different from Dan's version in a few ways that I thought it would be helpful to see another take on it.
You might just find something that helps you finally write the novel that lands you your first sale. And please if you wish to contribute leave a comment with your own tried and true methods.
Remember: All 5 Dan Wells Videos after the jump!