Structure according to the intensity of the scenes

When faced with the development of the structure of a novel, many experts usually advise a scheme in which each scene is more intense than the previous one. That is to say, the beginning, the middle and the end. This configuration, although it may be correct, is excessively generalist. Moreover, following this advice to the letter can often be counterproductive. 

If any reader is asked about the type of narrative he or she prefers to read, the most normal response is that of preferring the one that offers breaks and breathing space in the reading. For this reason, the framework of plot, plot, and denouement should only be taken as a general reference. In reality, many readers will always prefer to read a narrative that, while containing an increasing intensity, also includes breaks between scenes.

To achieve this effect, it will be important to know what types of scenes can be used when shaping the structure of a story. Here are the most common and important ones:


Usually, the scenes included in the exposition are used to get to know the characters and their lives. They help the reader to better understand the story, but it should not be forgotten that this type of scene slows down the narrative. Therefore, you must learn to use them well.


This type of scene allows you to shape the universe in which the fiction takes place, the world in which the characters move. As with expository scenes, overusing setting scenes can lead to the development of a story that bores the reader. On the other hand, if used sparingly and when appropriate, they can add depth to the novel. They can arise at any time.

Triggering cause

This is the moment when everything changes for the main character. It is the moment or the instant in which the problem, the conflict of the story appears. For example, in a detective novel, the triggering incident is usually a murder. There is only one, main, per story.


We are talking about the fundamental element of any story. In two words, the concept of conflict refers to the clash between the protagonist and his or her antagonistic forces. It usually appears in the first chapter or right at the beginning of the story.

Turning points

Turning points are special scenes in which the plot changes or takes a different direction. To define them in a more profane way, they are those moments in which, as readers, we are left with our mouths open, or very intrigued, by what has just happened.

There will be as many turning points as there are acts in the play. For a classic structure-introduction, knot and denouement-there are usually three turning points…. but there may be more.

Tension-building scenes

These are scenes in which the action progresses without allowing the narrative line to falter. They can be anywhere in the story.

Tension Decay Scenes

In this case the scenes are used by the writer to relax the tension of the plot. They can be either resolution scenes, setting scenes…or simply scenes in which the story progresses but in a more relaxed way. They can arise at any time.

Revealing scenes

Halfway between a tension-building scene and a turning point, a revelation scene gives the reader the chance to discover information of vital importance to the plot…and unknown until that moment.


In this case the protagonist faces the final obstacle, the decisive one for the achievement of the objective. It is the most intense scene in the story, there is only one and it will always precede the denouement.


After the climax, the denouement -lower in intensity than the climax- has two reasons for being. Either it explains things left unsaid or it shows what happens to the characters once the plot is resolved.