Author Salon has developed the Six Act Two-Goal novel structure for writers of book-length fiction and nonfiction. We expect further refinements to the outline, but the point here is to understand and utilize a tightly plotted act structure, similar to that used by screenplay writers, to effectively brainstorm and outline a very competitive and suspenseful plot for the genre novel, i.e., fantasy, SF, YA/MG, mystery, and so forth. Upmarket or literary fiction with a strong plot also benefits.

We combine Siegal's "nine act structure - two goal" screenplay (very much like the Syd Field three act except that the "reversal" from Field's structure becomes the "Act 5" in Siegal's version) with the Field classic three act. The Two-Goal Structure, Siegal maintains, creates more dynamic plot tension due to the insertion of PLOT REVERSAL later in the story, and we concur with this.

In the opening of a story, the protagonist(s) are focused on a major goal begun by ... [more]