Episodic Three Phase (part 3)

Let’s wrap up Episodic Three Phase!

Three basic phases you carry a premise through:

  • Exposition
  • Execution
  • Resolution

Exposition has a CATALYST.
Execution has a METHODOLOGY.
Resolution has a CONCLUSION.

Five different types of premises you take through these three phases:

As previously mentioned, this three phase structure is mostly seen in the structure of an episode of a television series. That’s why we’re calling it “episodic” three phase.


This three phase structure also applies to other forms where you see large stories broken down into tiny discreet chunks:

  • In a seven season story, the narrative is broken down into mini form chunks in the form of episodes.
  • In a movie, the narrative is broken down into mini form chunks in the form of single scenes.
  • In a book, the narrative is broken down into mini form chunks in the form of chapters.

All these mini form chunks have a premise. And…

Whenever you have a premise, these three phases apply.

We’ve seen this “premise” idea before. We’ve seen it in both short form story structure (aka “cubbies“) and long form story structure (aka “the seven seasons.”)


A short form premise is still a premise. So when developing the premise for your movie – these three phases still apply:

Act 1 – exposition.
Acts 2/3 – execution.
Act 4 – resolution.

The Seven Seasons

When looking at a long from story – the seven seasons – obviously it has episodes, so we see the three phase structure there. But that’s just the start. The three phase structure is weaved into the seven seasons in several different ways.

Say an entire season has a premise driving its storytelling. That premise has a beginning, middle, and end. Exposition. Execution. Resolution.

Then the entire show, the story, the series as a whole – has a premise. That too has a beginning, middle, and end.

The Beginning – The First Era. Seasons 1, 2, and 3.
The Middle – The Second Era. Seasons 4 and 5.
The End – The Third Era. Seasons 6 and 7.

Era 1: Exposition.
Era 2: Execution.
Era 3: Resolution.

The three phases operate in the smallest form of a story, all the way up to the largest. Long form, short form, mini form, – they all have a premise, and they all utilize the three phase structure.

In a very real way, it’s all about these three phases.

It’s why the dramatic evolution in the seven season structure works:

  • Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis.
  • Beginning. Middle. End.
  • Exposition. Execution. Resolution.

In the end, it all comes together.

That’s “rock,” Animals! We made it! That’s it!

As you may recall, way back when, we said that the face of a story has two sides:

“Rock” and “Juice.”

Our discussion so far has been entirely about rock:

“The necessary structure that a story is built around.”

There’s still that whole other side to get to. The juicy-juice side.

But to do this, we feel the blog format isn’t ideal. “Juice” is more immersive, more esoteric, more long form. Therefore…

We’ll be putting it all into a book.

So keep a lookout for that.

We’ll be digging deep into the “how” of your creativity and the ineffable qualities that give a story its sense of inspiration.

We’ll also be putting out a book about the cubbies.
And a book covering the seven seasons.

If you thought we said everything there is to say about these two, you’ve got it wrong Animals! So far we’ve only covered the bare bones. There’s much much more. And now that you’ve got your swimming legs, prepare to dive in even deeper!

Story Shamans will also be doing a podcast.

So keep your ears open.

And check back in for the occasional video, when the mood strikes, and a few surprises along the way.

Get ta’ writin’ Animals!

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