Okay...I'm a philosophy wonk...I admit it. But those early guys had a lot of good "stuff" (their word, not mine.
Aristotle’s Approach to Plot - The Basic Three-Act Structure
Act I: Beginning (Setup) -- introduce the reader to the setting, the main characters, and the situation (conflict) they find themselves in.
* Plot Point 1 is a situation (a first turning point) that drives the main character (protagonist) from their day-to-day life toward some different conflicting situation.
* Here, too, the main character is thrust into the dramatic situation
* The inciting incident at the end of the first act, complicates the story, ensuring life will never be the same again for the protagonist. This incident also raises the dramatic question that will be answered in Act III.
Act II: Middle (Confrontation) -- story develops through a series of complications and obstacles as the protagonist attempts to resolve the problem initiated by the first turning point. The character’s actions lead to a mini crisis and inevitably to an ultimate crisis—the Climax. As the story progresses, there is an overall rising tension as we approach the second turning point, or Climax. The second turning point is the scene or sequence in which the main tensions of the story are brought to their most intense point and the dramatic question answered.
* The resolution of the Climax is Plot Point 2.
Act III: End (Resolution) -- Climax and the loose ends of the story are resolved during the dénouement, when the story and the sub-plots are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
* Coward finds his courage, losers win; sinners lose; sinners are redeemed.