Narrative Writing


Your Story Spine Outline

It's time to write your own Story Spine. But first, read the following guidelines.


Once upon a time,

  • Establish the main character.
  • Establish the setting. Where and when does this story take place?


Every day,

  • Describe the daily routine of the main character.


But one day,

  • Something happens to throw the main character out of balance, forcing them to do something, change something, or attain something in order to regain some stability or happiness.


Because of that,

  • How does your main character respond to this new challenge? What does he or she do in order to solve the problem or attain his or her goal?


Because of that,

  • What unexpected thing happens as a result of your protagonist’s efforts?


Because of that,

  • How does your protagonist respond to this new setback? What does he or she do in order to solve the new problem?


Until finally,

  • Describe how your protagonist finally solves their problem or reaches their goal.


And ever since then,

  • Describe the “new normal”. How has the life of your protagonist changed, as a result of the events in your story?

Your finished outline should look much like this:

Your Story Spine Outline
Complete your Story Spine outline.
Once upon a time, there was a servant girl called Cinderella.
Every day, she was forced to do chores for her three wicked step-sisters.
But one day, they were all invited to a royal ball.
Because of that, the step-sisters forced Cinderella to do extra work—while refusing to let her attend the ball herself.
Because of that, Cinderella prayed to her fairy godmother. Her fairy godmother answered her prayers and gave her a dress, a carriage, and some glass slippers.
Because of that, Cinderella was able to go the ball, and the prince fell in love with her.
Until finally, Cinderella had to go home. The prince was heartbroken, and he wanted to find her again. When he finally found her, he asked her to marry him.
And ever since then, Cinderella and the Prince have lived happily in the palace.

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 16
      • Your Story Spine Outline
  2. Complete your story spine outline.
    • Minimum word count: 30 words.
  3. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.