Plotting is a preference, not a rule. Some writers plan their stories in detail, while others discover the story as they write. Whether you’re a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between, understanding plot structures can enhance your storytelling.

Remember, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in writing. Find what works best for you and run with it! Maybe it turns out to be the…

Fichtean Curve, a classic plot structure named after German playwright Johann Fichte.

The curve fits any genre but is more popular in those that build tension fast, such as thrillers, action, mystery or adventure.

  1. The Fichtean Curve kicks off with an inciting incident that disrupts the protagonist’s world. This sets off a series of small crises, each building tension and adding to the narrative, substituting the need for exposition at the start of the story.
  2. After each mini climax, there’s a brief respite or falling action. But, this is just the calm before the storm. Each crisis pushes the protagonist further, testing their mettle.
  3. All the tension built up through the story leads to a major climax, the turning point of the story. This is where the protagonist faces their biggest challenge yet.
  4. After the climax, the story winds down to its resolution. The protagonist emerges changed, having learned from their journey. The Fichtean Curve ends on a satisfying note, leaving readers eager for your next story.

Example: The Da Vinci Code.

Despite facing literary criticism, Dan Brown is a master of the Fichtean Curve.

He puts his protagonist, Robert Langdon, through a series of immediate problems on his journey to a final resolution. The pacing of rising and falling action keeps readers flipping the pages.