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Harry Foster
Harry Foster

Published on May 09, 2024, updated on May 27, 2024

A well-crafted story is an intricate weave of elements such as plot, characters, themes, and setting. At the heart of it lies a well-structured backbone: the story structure. Creating a story outline is an essential step in writing a story, novel, or screenplay. In this article, we showcase 6 famous story outline examples and templates to help you understand the structure of storytelling, including Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and His Dark Materials. Keep reading and dive into these excellent stories!

Alice in Wonderland Story Outline

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Writing an outline for a well-known story like "Alice in Wonderland" can help you understand the flow and structure of the story better. Here's the outline for this iconic tale of Alice in Wonderland.

1. Introduction

Setting: A sunny countryside in Victorian England.

Protagonist Introduction: Alice, a curious and imaginative young girl, is introduced while sitting by a riverbank with her sister.

2. Inciting Incident

Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice notices a White Rabbit in a waistcoat looking at his watch and muttering about being late. Intrigued, she follows him down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, an eccentric and nonsensical world.

3. Rising Action

Alice encounters various unique characters and experiences bizarre situations:

- The Fall: Alice falls slowly down the rabbit hole that is filled with strange objects.

- The Pool of Tears: After drinking a potion, Alice becomes tiny, and then, after eating a cake, she becomes enormous and cries a pool of tears.

- The Caucus Race: Alice meets various animals and they run a pointless "Caucus Race" to get dry.

- Advice from a Caterpillar: Alice meets a cryptic caterpillar who advises her on how to control her size.

- Mad Tea Party: Alice attends an endless tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse.

- Queen of Hearts Court: Alice enters the Queen's garden where playing cards paints white roses red. She takes part in a chaotic croquet match and then is summoned to a ridiculous trial.

4. Climax

Alice on Trial: The Queen of Hearts accuses Alice of stealing tarts and puts her on trial. As the absurdity peaks, Alice grows into her full size and begins to argue against the illogical proceedings.

5. Falling Action

Chaos Ensues: Alice's growth causes chaos in the courtroom. The Queen orders Alice's execution.

6. Resolution

Waking Up: Just as the deck of cards flies towards Alice, she wakes up to find herself back on the riverbank with her sister, revealing that it was all just a dream.

Using this structure, we see how "Alice in Wonderland" follows a traditional story arc, albeit in a whimsically distorted way fitting of its fantasy genre.

Beauty and the Beast Story Outline

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The enchanting tale of "Beauty and the Beast" offers a story structure that can be clearly outlined. Here's a suggested story outline for this classic tale:

1. Introduction

Setting: A quaint village in France.

Protagonist Introduction: Belle, is a bookish, intelligent, and beautiful young woman who longs for an adventurous life.

2. Inciting Incident

The Beast's Curse: Elsewhere, a cruel prince is transformed into a Beast by an enchantress. He must learn to love and be loved in return before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose or remain a Beast forever.

3. Rising Action

Belle's father, Maurice, stumbles upon the Beast's castle. The Beast takes him captive. Belle offers herself in exchange for her father's freedom:

- Meeting the Beast: Belle meets her captor, the Beast, and is frightened by his monstrous appearance.

- Living in the Castle: Belle interacts with enchanted objects and learns about the curse.

- Changing Relationship: Over time, Belle sees the kind heart behind the Beast's exterior. They grow fond of each other.

4. Climax

Gaston's Mob: Back in the village, Gaston, a boorish man smitten with Belle, leads a mob to kill the Beast after learning about his existence from Maurice. The Beast is mortally wounded while saving Belle.

5. Falling Action

Confession of Love: As the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, Belle confesses her love for the Beast, breaking the curse.

6. Resolution

Transformation and Reunion: The Beast transforms back into a Prince. Belle recognizes him by his blue eyes. They reunite, promising to stay together.

Through this outline, we see how "Beauty and the Beast" portrays the transformation of characters and their relationships as they confront and overcome conflicts.

Pinocchio Story Outline

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The classic story of "Pinocchio" presents a clear and compelling narrative structure. Here's a suggested outline for this beloved tale:

1. Introduction

Setting: The home of a kind-hearted woodcarver named Geppetto.

Protagonist Introduction: Pinocchio, a wooden puppet carved by Geppetto wishes for him to become a real boy.

2. Inciting Incident

The Fairy's Gift: A Blue Fairy brings Pinocchio to life with her magic, telling him he can become a real boy if he proves himself brave, truthful, and unselfish. A cricket, named Jiminy, is assigned as Pinocchio's conscience.

3. Rising Action

Pinocchio's journey to prove his worth is marked by a series of adventures and misadventures:

- The Puppet Show: Pinocchio is tricked into performing in a puppet show and then imprisoned by the puppet master, Stromboli. He is saved by the Blue Fairy, but he lies to her and his nose grows as a result.

- Pleasure Island: Misled by deceptive companions, Pinocchio visits Pleasure Island, where misbehaving boys are turned into donkeys.

- Transformation: Pinocchio narrowly escapes Pleasure Island but not before being partially transformed into a donkey.

4. Climax

Monstro the Whale: Pinocchio learns that Geppetto while searching for him, has been swallowed by a giant whale named Monstro. Bravely, Pinocchio ventures into the sea to rescue his father.

5. Falling Action

Rescue and Sacrifice: Pinocchio rescues Geppetto from the whale but, in doing so, sacrifices his own life.

6. Resolution

Becoming a Real Boy: Due to his selfless act, the Blue Fairy resurrects Pinocchio and transforms him into a real boy, bringing joy to him and Geppetto.

The story outline of "Pinocchio" presents the trials of the protagonist that ultimately lead to his transformation, underscoring themes of truthfulness, bravery, and selflessness.

Game of Thrones Story Outline

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"Game of Thrones", based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, is a complex tale with many intertwining narratives. However, we can create a simplified outline highlighting some of the main events:

1. Introduction

Setting: The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the lands beyond.

Protagonists Introduction: The Stark family, led by Eddard Stark, the head of Winterfell, his wife Catelyn, and their children Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon.

2. Inciting Incident

Hand of the King: King Robert Baratheon appoints Eddard as his new Hand (advisor) after the suspicious death of Jon Arryn.

3. Rising Action

A multitude of subplots and character arcs unravel:

- The Lannisters: Queen Cersei's incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime is discovered by Bran Stark, who is pushed off a tower for this discovery.

- The Targaryens: Exiled siblings Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen plan to reclaim the Iron Throne.

- The Night's Watch: The outer Northern border's defenders uncover threats from mythical White Walkers and wildlings.

4. Climax

The War of Five Kings: Eddard is executed for treason, triggering a multi-front war involving Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and later Renly Baratheon for the control of Westeros.

5. Falling Action

Power Struggles and Alliances: Intrigue and warfare continue. Jon Snow emerges as a leader in the North, while Daenerys grows her power in the East.

6. Resolution

Battle against White Walkers: The realms unite against the White Walker threat. Arya Stark kills the Night King. Subsequently, Daenerys is killed by Jon Snow to prevent her tyranny. Bran Stark becomes king, Sansa Stark rules an independent North, Arya ventures west of Westeros, and Jon returns to the Night's Watch.

This summary simplifies a vast story filled with many characters and subplots, illustrating how multiple narratives can weave into an epic fantasy saga like "Game of Thrones".

Harry Potter Story Outline

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The world-renowned Harry Potter series, penned by J.K. Rowling, follows a comprehensive and captivating story arc. Here's a generalized outline of the narrative:

1. Introduction

Setting: The wizarding world, hidden within the real world, primarily Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Protagonist Introduction: Harry Potter, is an orphan living with his neglectful relatives, the Dursleys.

2. Inciting Incident

Invitation to Hogwarts: Harry discovers he is a wizard on his 11th birthday and is invited to attend Hogwarts, beginning his magical education.

3. Rising Action

Each book presents a unique challenge for Harry, his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and their mentors, but each one also progresses the overarching plot:

- Philosopher's Stone: Harry learns about his parents' mysterious death and his fame in the wizarding world. He confronts Professor Quirrell, who is possessed by the series' antagonist, Voldemort.

- Chamber of Secrets to Half-Blood Prince: Harry repeatedly encounters and overcomes threats related to Voldemort's return and Horcruxes - pieces of Voldemort's soul hidden in various objects.

4. Climax

The Battle of Hogwarts: In "Deathly Hallows", Harry and his allies defend Hogwarts from Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters.

5. Falling Action

Destroying the Horcruxes: Harry learns that he is the final Horcrux. He allows Voldemort to "kill" him, which destroys the piece of his soul but leaves Harry unharmed.

6. Resolution

Final Confrontation and Aftermath: Harry kills Voldemort, ending the war. Later, we see Harry, Hermione, and Ron sending their own children off to Hogwarts, implying a peaceful and hopeful future.

Through this story outline, we witness Harry Potter's journey from an unknown child to the savior of the wizarding world, offering lessons on bravery, friendship, sacrifice, and love.

His Dark Materials Story Outline

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"His Dark Materials" is a compelling trilogy written by Philip Pullman. It follows a complex narrative, blending elements of fantasy, philosophy, and coming-of-age themes. Here's a generalized outline of the plot:

1. Introduction

Setting: The story begins in a parallel universe at Jordan College, Oxford.

Protagonist Introduction: Lyra Belacqua (later known as Lyra Silvertongue), is an adventurous and inquisitive girl.

2. Inciting Incident

Discovery of Dust: Lyra learns about Dust, mysterious particles that the Church believes are original sin. Lyra's friend Roger is kidnapped by the 'Gobblers' who are linked to Dust research.

3. Rising Action

Several plots unfold, introducing new characters and concepts:

- The Golden Compass/Northern Lights: Lyra embarks on a journey North to rescue Roger, discovering more about Dust, the cruel experiments on children, and her parents. She is guided by an alethiometer - a truth-telling device.

- The Subtle Knife: Lyra meets Will Parry, a boy from our world. They discover Cittàgazze, a world haunted by Spectres and the Subtle Knife, a tool that can cut windows between worlds.

- The Amber Spyglass: The worlds are plunged into war. Lyra and Will discover that they are destined to play crucial roles concerning Dust and the fate of all worlds.

4. Climax

Battle against The Authority: A great war takes place between The Authority (God) and those opposed to him. Lyra and Will, bearing the Subtle Knife, are caught in the middle.

5. Falling Action

Rescue of the Dead: Lyra and Will journey to the land of the dead to fulfill prophecies, leading to the release of all trapped spirits.

6. Resolution

Sealing the Windows and Parting Ways: To halt the loss of Dust from all universes, all windows between worlds must be closed, leading to a heart-wrenching farewell between Lyra and Will as they must each return to their world.

Through this outline, we glimpse the thrilling adventure and profound themes in "His Dark Materials", demonstrating a deep exploration of freedom, knowledge, and growing up.

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Key Takeaways: Story Outline Template & Writing Tool with AI

Boardmix is a unique and powerful tool that aids writers in the planning and creation of story outlines. It incorporates AI technology, which significantly streamlines the writing process. The AI helps in organizing thoughts, suggesting plot points, and enhancing character development. It also provides writers with suggestions based on previously successful story outlines, thereby promoting effective storytelling. With a range of templates for various genres providing a basic structure, authors can modify it to suit their unique narrative needs. Also, writers can add or delete sections as they deem fit, making it highly adaptable to any creative process. Try Boardmix AI and boost your writing creativity!

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