The 4 Story Structures that Dominate Novels
All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. While each is present in every story, there is generally one that dominates the others. Which one dominates? The one that the author cares about most. This is why the process of discovering the structure of a story is usually a process of self-discovery. Which aspect of the story matters most to you? Let’s take each element in turn and look at the structure that would be required if that were to be the dominant element in your story. STRUCTURE 1: THE MILIEU STORY The milieu is the world—the planet, the society, the weather, the family, all the elements that come up during your world-creation phase. Milieu stories always follow that structure. This structure is most common in science fiction and fantasy, but it also occurs in other types of novels. Likewise, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz doesn’t end when Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the West. Most mysteries follow this structure.
Related: Plot and Structure