I've been studying story structure for over a year now, both self-study and with a tutor. You know those optical illusion graphics where you have to defocus to see the hidden image? I feel that kind of blind when my tutor says, "Your structure isn't working here. Consider this." Now, I had an insight that defining "rising action" for your protagonist, is partly subjective. I say partly because a physical beating by the antagonist is serious for any protagonist. However, an obstacle's degree of severity also depends on the protagonist's goal (e.g. a serious setback for a sportsman might not be a serious setback for a musician or writer. The latter could still perform with a twisted ankle, albeit painfully.) I am struggling with "nailing it", although I am more competent than I was a year ago. Intuitively I understand that when I can nail the structure and make it really sound, "it will be harder for the means of production to pick it apart whatever they do to it", (if I may misquote the inspirational, late Blake Snyder). Why is it so difficult to get it right? Your thoughts. Your feedback is much appreciated. May I discuss your insights in a blog post I'm writing about this? (Anonymously of course. I don't need to quote names, only discuss the points raised.) If not, just add "Don't quote me" to your comment .