Fairy tale plotting structure

Several months back, I met with one of my high school teachers at a B&N to chat about books, writing, YA lit… the usual things that two people who love books tend to talk about. She taught/teaches Creative Writing (and I actually think her class was one of the reasons I decided to major in the subject when I went to college).

When we talked about our writing processes, I lamented, as I’ve done many times before, my “pantsing” nature. We also discussed revising and she shared the “Fairy Tale” outline structure with me. I think this structure would be helpful in either stage: if you’re a pantser, like me, this structure would be helpful during revisions to make sure that the plot fits well. If you’re a plotter, then this is a pretty simple outline to get you started!

Thank you again for sharing, Jessie, if you’re reading this! I may use it as I write (or, more likely, as I revise) book #2 of the Threats of Sky and Sea series to make sure the plot is sound.

Finish each sentence as it applies to your story.


“Once upon a time…”

“Every day…”


“But one day…”

Rising action:

“Because of that…”

“Because of that…”

“Because of that…”


“Until finally…”


“Ever since then…”

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