The Beginning: Get your book off to a rock solid start (Story Structure in Harry Potter, Pt II)

This was a great read and being an avid Harry Potter fan I can see how Rowling followed these rules. In reading about the setup, I now can really see what I need to do for Book 2.

Write Like Rowling

Photo by Martin Wessely @ Unsplash / CC0 1.0

In my previous post we discussed how Rowling’s unique plots were (ironically) successful because she followed some basic novel guidelines. I specifically focused on plot points and pinch points in that post as defined by Larry Brooks in his book Story Engineering. Now in this post I’m going to be referring to Brooks’ text again to look at a few more important elements of story structure.

I’m a visual learner myself so here’s a diagram of the parts I’ll be talking about:


Story Structure

Now for the specifics:


Harry Potter Story Structure

In Story Engineering Brooks writes that there are four major parts of a novel: The Setup, The Response, The Attack and The Resolution. Like a circle, successfully writing one of these parts determines the success of the next part – and the success of…

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So a few months ago I found an app that has been a great help for me. It’s called Commit and you can put in something that you want to do every day. It starts with “I will ________________ every day” and has you set a time to be reminded. I put in that I will work on my manuscript every day. When it gives you the reminder, it asks, “Did you ___________ today?” For working on my manuscript, I’m 56 days in a row! The day before this 56 days started, I missed but I’d been at 40+ days in a row then.


If you’re struggling with writing daily or if you have another goal of something that you want to do every day, this is a great app to help you. When I get the notification asking if I worked on my manuscript and I haven’t, I go right away to work on it so I can mark that I did.

Keep working hard!