I am starting to write a story and have made an outline of the major plot points. I am looking at the outline but am not sure which story structure it follows. My outline goes like this:

  • Quick exposition of character's normal life (part of a gang) and what their dreams are.
  • They end up betraying the gang and are on the run.
  • They try to go back to their old way of life trying to join a different gang even though it doesn't align with their dreams.
  • They come to the realization that things can never go back to normal.
  • They reluctantly start a new way of life while still on the run making friends and whatnot.
  • Later come to the conclusion that their old way of life hurt not just them but others as well.
  • Climax of the story is when they get captured.
  • Their new friends help them escape.
  • Story ends with them and their friends working to get rid of the gangs (But it doesn't get too into that) and the character able to achieve their dreams.

So, what is my story structure? (e.g. the hero's journey or seven-point plot structure)

  • 2
    Nice outline you got there but what exactly is your question? Mar 29, 2021 at 21:53
  • I am not sure which narrative structure it follows (Eg. the hero's journey or 7 point story structure) or if the outline has a good flow to it.
    – Savannah
    Mar 29, 2021 at 22:07
  • Hi Savannah, welcome to our site (and we always welcome aspiring writers!). I recommend you take the site Tour and read How to Ask, to guide you on how to restructure your question so that it elicits the kind of answers we value on this site. As it stands, you're asking us to assess your plot outline; we don't do that here. Instead, edit your question so that it (a) addresses a writing issue that other writers are likely to share, and (b) invites definitive solutions rather than opinions.... Apr 2, 2021 at 22:41
  • ... For example, you might reframe your question as "Do XX publishers require a story to follow a standard story structure?" (where XX represents a genre such as YA, fantasy, etc), or "How do I work out which standard plot structure my story fits into?" or "Is there an advantage to using a particular plot structure for XX stories?" Use your own plot outline as an example rather than being the subject of the question, and add some detail (e.g. is it a short story, novel, film script? What's the target audience?). I hope this helps :-) Apr 2, 2021 at 22:51

1 Answer 1



Both structures fit your story. That's probably because they are both very similar and were both designed to fit very broadly the most common type of character arcs (that we follow naturally).

But I think you are approaching these structures the wrong way...

They are character path structures, not narrative structures.
A given character's journey could be narrated in many different ways, in a non-linear way, skipping parts etc. There can be several characters with a hero's journey in the same story

Therefore knowing that your story follows this structure or not will only tell you how close to the norm it is and that the narration follows linearily the main protagonist's path. It won't help you to know if the pacing of the narration is good, if it is coherent, etc.

Moreover, these story patterns are not meant to be used as a structure to create a story, they were deduced from existing stories as a tool to analyse stories.

  • "Moreover, these story patterns are not meant to be used as a structure to create a story, they were deduced from existing stories as a tool to analyse stories." I wish we could get this pinned to the top of every writing community on the internet :P Mar 30, 2021 at 21:11

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