Alida Winternheimer – The Structure of Story
  • Alida Winternheimer – The Structure of Story

Alida Winternheimer – The Structure of Story


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Alida Winternheimer - The Structure of Story1Alida Winternheimer – The Structure of Story

A nuts & bolts course on every story’s key components.

The Structure of Story is about just that: structure. Often structure isn’t taught because people assume it’s a natural byproduct of writing.

Like if you write a story, you’ll intuitively know how long to make your scenes, where to place chapter breaks, and how to maximize the effects of dramatic or comedic action.

But that simply isn’t true.

Yes, literature (of all genres) is an art form. But like other art forms, it springs from a definite, working knowledge of craft.

By learning the mechanics of story structure, you will be able to identify the key elements of your story, shape them to increase your story’s desired effect on your readers, and turn craft concepts into tools you have at your disposal whenever you sit down to write.

After all, it is by using the tools of one’s craft that one masters them, turning conscious effort into unconscious working knowledge.

I’ve worked with hundreds of writers as a teacher, editor, and writing coach. I’ve seen time and again that certain fundamentals of writing simply are not common knowledge. They’re the sort of things many teachers take for granted, assuming everyone in class knows them. And they’re the sort of things that are critical to shaping a narrative, but aren’t necessarily simple to grasp.

Now you don’t have to worry about asking one of those “dumb” questions or whether or not you know what you don’t know.

  • How long should my chapters be?
  • What belongs in the resolution?
  • How many kinds of movement are there in a story?
  • How do I know if my chapters end with a hook?

In this course, we’re going to cover the Structure of Story from the three acts to the climax to the reveal. There are plenty of writing exercises to help you get a firm grasp on the tools of your trade – or art form – and to help you apply what you’re learning to your current work-in-progress. We’ll examine the key components of each act, hooks, and the point of no return 1 and 2, and lots more!

Your Instructor

Alida Winternheimer
I look forward to guiding this creative inquiry into writing from memory, emotion, and body. I hope you’ll take this journey with me and our fellow writers. It is sure to be as enriching as it is challenging, from both a craft and personal perspective. What better way to embark on an adventure than together?


Alida Winternheimer is an award-winning author and experienced teacher, editor, and writing coach. She’s published numerous short stories, two of which were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Alida is the creator and host of two literary podcasts: Story Works Round Table, conversations about craft; and Story Works Reading Series, a literary journal for your ears. She is the author of the Story Works Guide to Writing Character and the Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View.

Her essay, “The Sun Still Shines on the Worst Day of Your Life” was recently published in Under the Sun and nominated for the Best American Essays anthology.

Every day, Alida helps writers write better through her craft books, the Story Works Fiction online school, free writing tips, and her podcasts. When she’s not writing or teaching, you can spot her around Minneapolis on her bike, in her kayak, or being walked by her golden retriever.

Course Curriculum

Module 0 | How to Get the Most Out of This Course
  • 0: What You’ll Get & How You’ll Get It (4:55)
Module 1 | Building Your Arc
  • 1: Building Your Arc (11:35)
Module 2 | The 3-Act Structure
  • 2.1: The 3-Act Structure (14:27)
  • 2.2: Endings (11:08)
Module 3 | Scenes, Chapters, Climaxes
  • 3.1: Scenes (11:42)
  • 3.2: Chapters (16:59)
  • 3.3: Climaxes (9:45)
Module 4 | Four Kinds of Movement
  • 4.1: Four Kinds of Movement in Stories (23:12)
  • 4.2: Exercise #6 (8:23)
Module 5 | Three Critical Components of Story
  • 5: Intrigue, Hooks, Reveals (13:13)
Module 6 | Writing Strong
  • 6: Writing Strong & Final Words (4:05)

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