5Story Structure

Ordering and Connecting Scenes

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”

—Steven Spielberg1

We all have an inherent ability and need to tell stories. Further, we all understand that good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. So once we have cut a scene—one part of our overall story—how do we decide where exactly it fits? What should come next? Or even what should come before? How can we decide on a clear pathway through our story and take our audience on that journey of discovery we always intended for them to experience?

The order in which we place our scenes—their running order— is a vital aspect of storytelling. ...

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