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rollercoaster

A good narrative twists and turns, and something changes from beginning to end. Photo Credit: daveynin Flickr via Compfight cc

Earlier this week I posted information about the 3-act structure for nonfiction. I included some components you may find in each act when writing an essay, a memoir, or work of literary/narrative nonfiction.

In this post, I’d like to share a worksheet I created that can help you think through each act as it pertains to your work. I recently used this worksheet to help me rethink an essay I’ve been working on, and I found it useful.

Enjoy! Let me know if you end up working through these questions and if you find them useful.

Three-Act structure worksheet

Act I

List your characters (including yourself!). Explain how they all relate to you.

What primary question are you trying to answer?

What’s at stake if you don’t find the answers?

What is a possible turning point for the end of Act I that can propel the story deeper into Act II?

Act II

How is the story going to deepen? How are the stakes going to be raised?

What is going to change?

What surprise or new perspective can you offer on the story that was started in Act I?

How can you foreshadow the ultimate resolution?

What is a possible turning point for the end of Act I that can propel the story deeper into Act II? This is often a crisis.

Act III

How can you take the story to the final level?

What loose ends need to be tied up?

What did you learn about yourself? About others?

How have you changed since Act I?

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