Five Point Structure

 
 

FIVE POINT STRUCTURE

 
 
 

The German playwright and novelist Gustav Freytag built stories in five parts. 

PART 1

 
Exposition
 

During the first stage of the story, setting and characters are introduced and the main character's situation and goals are revealed.

 

PART 2

 
Rising Action
 

During this phase, conflict is introduced. Tension rises as the basic conflict becomes more acute, and many secondary obstacles appear in the path of the main character. 

 

PART 3

 
Climax
 

At the climax, the main character makes a crucial decision that changes the course of the story, and defines who the character is as a person (for better or worse). This is the turning point of the whole story, and the rest of the story serves to demonstrate the consequences of what happens here.

 

PART 4

 
Falling Action
 

This is the part of the story where all the little dominoes that have been lined up during the first half of the story begin to topple. Tension builds as events hurtle toward the exciting conclusion. 

 

PART 5

 
Denouement
 

In the last stage of the story, there is a final confrontation between the main character and his opponent, during which one or the other decisively wins. All the complications are untangled, and the conflict is resolved. We may also see a glimpse of the consequences of the outcome of the story, as life goes on.