Story Structure... Harmony in four parts?

At my very first regional RWA conference I went to a great workshop given my Patricia Grasso. Now, I admit to being very much a greenhorn at the time of that conference, but believe me when I tell you that the things I learned in that 45 minutes are tools that I've used in the fourteen years since. Basically, I learned to break down the book into sections. Some break them down into three parts. I do four. Each section represents a specific goal for the book. The first would be the introduction of characters and conflict. The second is building the relationship and escalating the conflict. The third section is where I twist the conflict and shift the focus of the relationship until it seems that they can't make it. And the fourth starts with the black moment and ends with the resolution. For me, I know that when I'm writing my books this is where I want to shoot for. Each one does not necessarily flow in the same way. But it works for me.

So, does anyone out there do three parts? Calculated linear forms of plotting? Or are you just a take 'em as it comes writer? What works for you?

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