I'm a data scientist and for my next project I'm looking for a location where I can find stories broken down by structure. I.e. The basics of the seven point story structure, or wikipedia dramatic structure, etc...

I've found https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/story-structures/ but I was looking for something less articulate. Something that would break it down by chapters or some other dry quantitative metric instead of the qualitative / descriptive one found in the link above.

For all I know this is too much of a subjective question to be boiled down as I'm asking (if so I'll need to do it manually and it won't be a fun task for a non native English speaker).

At the end of the day I would need the open source story (short, novel, play, ...) and some way of telling when the structure changes (climax, Rising action, Exposition, ...).

  • Welcome to writing.se! Take the tour and visit the help center when you get a chance. You will get the usual badges.
    – linksassin
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 5:34
  • 1
    I doubt there is a quantitative way to determine the structure of a story unless you want a very generic "something bad happens to the MC". I'm just a bit curious though, what sort of project are you working on that requires the story to be open source and structure identification?
    – Shadowzee
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 6:19
  • 2
    smiles devilishly Have ya tried tvtropes.org?
    – hszmv
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 14:27
  • 2
    Your Harry Potter example seems to be made with a Markov chain. I think what you want to do is mostly done using neural networks and unassisted learning. So I would be surprised if such a resource existed... but who knows... Also, I'm wondering if this SE is the right one for your question... This seems more like a question for ai.stackexchange.com ... We can probably tell you about resources about story structure etc but likely not about a resource of quantitatively analyzed texts.
    – Erk
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 0:49
  • 1
    This SO thread may be relevant to you. There do not appear to be any pre-tagged text-based machine learning training sets, but if you have a repository of short texts in mind, you may be able to categorize them yourself using the method described in the linked thread. Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 13:32

3 Answers 3


The first thing you need to understand is that plot points aren't a hard fact. There are quite a few different narrative theories out there, and each scholar would find different plot points, even using the same theory. When you read scholarly analyses of the same text, there is usually vigorous dispute about how to structure that narrative.

For that reason, a database with the plot points for each story would be highly debatable, if it existed.


Have you tried TV Tropes? It is a wiki which describes story "tropes" (i.e. the various narrative elements, tricks and occasional fails of the storytelling art). It is vast and has a loose but fairly well defined structure; tropes are organised by category and are extensively hyperlinked. Works, creators and genres are also given, with lots of links explaining how different tropes are used in different works.

Since you ask about plot structure you might like to start here.

I've always thought that a machine-learning project with TV Tropes as its input would be seriously interesting, so let us know what happens.

Warning: It is also an infinite time sink.


You are asking if there is a database where scholars are turning art, which is subjective in it's very nature, into a science. You do realize what you're asking is probably in some back corner of the net, if at all.

As libli had said, there are furious debate on many different works of art, and especially writing, because it can be as complicated or as simple as the person thinks of it. There is no right or wrong answer, no definitive analysis that comes out on top. Just different people's opinions on their take on some constructs they made to try and quantify the meaning on the author's work.

So, there may be one or two of what you seek, but art is subjective. You can't get a definitive answer from any such database because art is purely subjective. Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.