Hi Everyone,

As some of you know, I'm a beginner and am learning a whole lot about writing as I try to write this novel. The majority of my learning thus far has come from members on this community, which I am very grateful for.

So...my original intent was to write this novel in what would be a non linear timeline and with each chapter being sort of episodic. The protagonist would have a goal, and there would be conflict, a lie and a truth...but I didn't have an exact outline of when different plot points would happen.

Chapter 1: MC has a conversation with his father about volunteering to go to war and decides NOT to go to war.
Chapter 2: Middle of war, two years later, MC is in a firefight and the reader sees that obviously the MC changed his mind.
Chapter 3: MC first arrives in war and some world building takes place and characters are introduced
Chapter 4-Middle of book: MC and his comrades move through war up to the event in Chapter 2. Combat takes place and the MC develops various relationships with other characters.
Middle of Book to the end of the 3rd quarter: Event of chapter 2 is resolved and a series of events lead up to a climax
Fourth Quarter to end: Aftermath of the climax where a series of truths are revealed.

So, like I said, I am a beginner and that was the rough outline I had in mind. I've been listening to some podcasts on writing and came across an incredibly valuable one called "Helping writers become authors" by K.M. Weiland. She is fantastic, with a lovely voice, and the content she offers is very detailed and engaging. I recommend her to anyone.

I recently listened to one of Weiland's podcasts on story structure and her detailed analysis of when certain plot points and key events should take place in a novel. Below is a link to a visual flow chart of this...it is very detailed. After remembering some of my favorite books I can see how they too seemed to follow the three act story structure the way she laid it out.


So....my questions (and feel free to offer any thoughts or comments that fall outside of the below):

-Does the three act story structure still need to apply to a nonlinear timeline novel?
-Are there some great works of literature out there that follow a nonlinear timeline and disregard the three act story structure that anyone could point me to?
-I'm pretty sure that the outline I laid out above would need to be reworked in order to follow appropriate three act story structure. Do you agree?
-Can I get away with not having all of the plot points and key events as detailed in the link above if I write this novel with a nonlinear timeline with that sort of episodic feel to it (I'm aware that each chapter/scene would need to have its own set of conflict).
-Does anyone have any generally strong opinions on a nonlinear timeline vs a conventional one?

Thanks again!