Structure 101: Beginning With Beginnings

As in “Once upon a time, there was this kingdom, things used to be good, then they got messed up because of this evil thing, and they were incapable of solving their own problems until a complete stranger showed up.”


There are many ways to look at stories: Stories are about conflict, stories are about themes and messages, stories are just for entertainment, stories are a bright spot in a dark universe, stories are how we face our inner demons, stories are a series of words arranged in a certain way in order to describe a series of events.

But beneath all that quotable fluff that’s fodder for inspiration porn, beyond the genres and motives, stories share something under the hood: A beginning, middle, and end.

And over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a closer look at the skeleton of stories, starting with…the middle, clearly.

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Love-to-Hate Relationships

We’re talking Scooby-Doo, villain-of-the-week, “tear down the orphanage and build a toxic pollution factory because I love the tears of children” levels of motivation.

Today I’ll be talking about characters you love to hate! Or is that characters you should hate but love? The answer, my readers, is: Yes.

So, everyone knows their own reasons for liking a characters. Could be personality, abilities, design. Could be a snappy one-liner or an achievement you really loved. There are characters we love wholeheartedly, and ones we despise and want to see dead.

But somewhere out there, some characters occupy a sweet spot, a mix of antagonism and admiration. Whatever it is, they share one thing with the characters that matter to you: You enjoy watching them.

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