There have been many theories and structures constructed by famous writers and analysts over the years. Freytag’s pyramid is the one dramatic structure that is most probably used by almost all writers at least once in their life.
You might not know it yet, but there is a huge chance that you have applied Freytag’s dramatic structure in your story. This structure was created by a German playwright named Gustav Freytag in the 19th century. Freytag’s dramatic story structure is also called Freytag’s triangle.
There are 7 steps in this structure that, if applied effectively, can help you write a first-class story. Let’s get started.
The seven key steps for writing a story successfully include exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and denouement.
Exposition – this includes the basic features of the story like the plot, setting, character backgrounds, etc. Exposition helps the readers understand the starting position of the story. It plays a vital part in making the readers get acquainted with the central characters of the story.
Inciting incident – after the writer has been well-acquainted with the setting and the characters, now it is time for the inciting incident to happen. It is the beginning of a conflict, more like a warning about the upcoming situation or incident that is supposed to make the protagonist alert. This is the part where your readers understand that something significant is about to happen and that’s when they start to actually care about your story. Inciting an incident is crucial for the initialization of story progression.
Rising action - rising action is the part of the story that reveals the actual conflict. An inciting incident is the beginning of rising action. This is the actual tension part of the story, the part where there is a crisis or a situation in front of the protagonist as the story reveals itself.
Climax – This is the literary element of the story that exerts the most pressure on the protagonist or the characters. This is the most exciting part of the story and is often the part that keeps the readers on edge. A good climax is crucial for a good story, especially if it is thriller fiction.
Falling action – this is the part after the protagonist has gone through the main conflict of the story, i.e. the climax. The falling action is important as it provides a certain clarity about the story along with the decisions and choices made by the protagonist or other characters at the time of chaos.
Resolution – resolution is almost the end of the story. It shows what happens to the characters after what they went through or experienced in the story. This is the part after resolving the conflict. Resolution is important because it helps the writer convey or reveal the situation or position of the story after the climax. This helps to provide further clarity.
Denouement – This is the final part of the story that concludes and shows how the story ends.
These are the seven significant dramatic structure steps of Freytag. These could be really helpful if you want to write a gripping story.
Now, let’s discuss the basic necessary grammar rules for writing a story using Freytag’s pyramid story structure, or any other structure for that matter. Firstly, you have to get your tenses in order. If you start your story with a particular tense, you have to maintain that tense throughout the story. But there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are writing the story in the present tense and you are referring to or writing about an incident in the past, you have to use the past tense rather than the present.
Writing your dialogues and lines in active voice is another significant rule. Active voice dialogues provide more clarity than passive voice. The story would be more effective if the subject of the sentences is put first and then comes the action. The next rule is about the subject-verb agreement. The subject in a sentence should agree or match with the verb used in it. This means that if the subject is in a singular form, then the verb must be singular too. Try to avoid the unnecessary abundance of words while writing. Your aim should be to include the right words in the right places. Consistency is the key. You have to be consistent about the rules you apply while writing. It is alright if you do not wish to go by some of the not-so-important grammar rules and chooses to go crazy on the creativity front. But try not to confuse your readers.
Readers will notice the grammatical errors in your story. If there are too many mistakes, then a true reader is most likely to lose interest in the book. Correct grammar provides good clarity. Bad grammar is like voice distortion in good music. Be careful with your grammatical errors. Freytag’s structure is the right option for you to consider if you choose to write your story clearly and systematically.