4 min readDec 2, 2021

Continuing Series on Story Structure

NOTE: This is part of a series on story structure. I will be collecting them all up and putting them into a book once I’m finished, as part of my Business for Breakfast series.

The rebirth story structure is sometimes listed as one of the primary plot structures.

In most stories, there tends to be a character rebirth, where they learn from the error of their ways and change things up.

However, the primary reason why rebirth is considered different from those stories is the intent.

Is the main character looking for their homeworld, and changes along the way? That is not a story of rebirth, because the character is focused on something else.

If the main character is strolling through their regular life, and something happens to them which causes them to rethink their ways, that’s a rebirth story.

A Christmas Carol is one of the more famous rebirth stories. Scrooge had no intention of changing his ways. In the end, he does.

In general, in the first part of a rebirth story, the main character falls under a dark spell. Something is corrupting them, whether that be an actual dark mage or just the lure of riches and gold. The main character is sometimes a good person who’s been corrupted but doesn’t have to be. While it’s possible to have a rebirth story starting with an evil character, it’s easier to start with a character who has some redeeming qualities. However, frequently the main character is going to be a character with ambiguous morals.

During the next part, everything continues to go well for the main character. The dark power is rewarding her for her cooperation. The status quo does not suck, at least for them, during this part.

Then, some sort of threat occurs. It might be the threat that was hinted at in the first part of the story has returned, or just that the main character starts to see the error of their ways. But things are starting to change, and not for the better. This tends to be the end of act one, in terms of three-act structure, with the darkness gathering.

During the next part, things go from bad to worse. The villain appears to be unbeatable. The main character is trying to dig themselves out of the…




Leah Cutter sold her first short story back in 1997, and continues to write and sell both her fiction and non-fiction. She supports herself with her writing.