Commodore Hornblower

Inciting Event: Hornblower assumes command as commodore.

First Plot Point: Hornblower rescues a merchantman captured by the French privateer Blanchefleur.

First Pinch Point: Hornblower decides to escort the ambassadors to Russia.

Midpoint: At a dinner for the czar, Hornblower realizes his interpreter wants to assassinate the czar, and he stifles the attempt.

Second Pinch Point: Hornblower receives word that France and Russia are finally at war.

Third Plot Point: The siege upon Riga begins.

Climax: Hornblower receives word that Napoleon has been repulsed from Moscow. The assault upon the village fronting Riga commences.

Climactic Moment: The Prussians at Riga surrender to Hornblower and defect from Napoleon.

Resolution: Hornblower recovers from typhus and returns home to his family.

Notes: This is the first of C.S. Forester’s Hornblower books for which I’ve charted out the structure. I’ve always felt these books were more or less episodic, but I was surprised but how well the structure actually hangs together as a whole. Even though the story is a series of events, linked more by cause and effect than any hugely specific plot throughline, when viewed from the inside out (i.e., while actually reading the book), it’s clear how the major plot points pull the various episodes together into a seamless progression.

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