What are the StoryShop templates?

Beats templates can be found on the create a book card. Click Beat Template, select a world, select a series and hit "let's roll" and you'll get a list of beats to choose from.

Available Beat Templates:

Overcoming the Monster (Dracula) 

1. Anticipation: A great evil threatens the land

2. Journey to the new world: The Hero is called to challenge it

3. Fascination: Hero begins his training and prepares for his journey to face confront the evil

4. Frustration: Hero faces the monster and appears to be outmatched

5. Nightmare: Hero fights an epic battle with the monster and all hope seems to be lost

6. Escape: Hero overthrows the monster and emerges victorious (possibly with a treasure or Princess, and gains a kingdom)

7. Return to the old world: The hero returns and he’s given a treasure, Princess, or kingdom to rule over

Rags to Riches (Cinderella)

1. Anticipation: Our hero in a lowly and unhappy state

2. Journey to the new world: The hero is called, or sent out, into the world

3. Fascination: After a few minor struggles, the hero experiences initial success, and meets his true love

4. Frustration: Suddenly, everything goes wrong as the hero’s success is stripped away, he’s separated from his one true love, and is at the lowest point

5. Nightmare: With only his wits, strength, and natural talent, the hero must discover his true strength and prove himself worthy of achieving his goal by defeating his rival

6. Escape: The hero is victorious and defeats his enemy

7. Return to the old world: Hero returns to claim his treasure, kingdom, and his one true love

The Quest (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

1. Anticipation: Story begins with the hero in an intolerable or oppressive state

2. Journey to the new world: The hero gets a vision, supernatural call, or learns of a great MacGuffin far away that he wants or needs to find

3. Fascination: Hero tracks down the MacGuffin, crossing enemy territory, gaining helpers along the way, encountering monsters, temptations, dangers, and the ghosts of failed questers

4. Frustration: Within reach of his goal, the hero is hit with another set of obstacles to overcome

5. Nightmare: Hero faces a final set of tests and his toughest battle thus far

6. Escape: Hero survives and finds the MacGuffin

7. Return to the old world: Returns home victorious, brings home his treasure, and wins the heart of his true love

Voyage and Return (Alice in Wonderland)

1. Anticipation: Hero is bored, curious, and reckless

2. Journey to the new world: Suddenly, something happens and the hero is transported to a strange new world

3. Fascination: Hero explores new world, finding it puzzling and fascinating, yet not quite right

4. Frustration: The darkness creeps in as the world becomes alarming, frustrating, and oppressive

5. Nightmare: The hero’s very survival is threatened, all seems lost

6. Escape: Thrilling escape

7. Return to the old world: Hero returns home learning a valuable lesson

Tragedy (Romeo and Juliet)

1. Anticipation: We start with a hero who is unfulfilled and wants more

2. Journey to the new world: The hero focuses on some object of desire or course of action (usually something forbidden)

3. Fascination: The hero commits to his goal and things go amazingly well for him

4. Frustration: Then, things begin to go imperceptibly wrong and the hero further commits himself by carrying out desperate and unwise actions that cannot be undone

5. Nightmare: Hero’s control is slipping away and a sense of foreboding and despair surround him as forces of opposition, and fate, close in on him

6. Escape: Hero is defeated: Hero is defeated

7. Return to the old world: After the the hero’s death or destruction the world around him is released from the darkness he had wrought

Rebirth (Sleeping Beauty - Animated)

1. Anticipation: Hero falls under the shadow of a dark power

2. Journey to the new world: At first, all goes well, and the threat seems to recede

3. Fascination: Threat returns in full force

4. Frustration: Imprisoning the hero in a state of living death

5. Nightmare: The dark power seems to completely triumph

6. Escape: Someone miraculously rescues the hero

7. Return to the old world: Hero returns home, forever changed

Western (The Magnificent Seven - 2016)

1. Anticipation: Outlaws threaten a town

2. Journey to the new world: The hero is called upon to confront the outlaws

3. Fascination: All begins well as the hero becomes the new sheriff and prepares to face the enemy

4. Frustration: Coming face to face with the ring leader, the hero appears to be outmatched

5. Nightmare: The final battle with the outlaws, which seems hopeless for the hero

6. Escape: Hero kills the ring leader, and the other men disband and leave town

7. Return to the old world: Hero lives to fight another day

Alien Invasion (Independence Day)

1. Anticipation: Aliens invade a small town

2. Journey to the new world: The hero is called upon to confront the Aliens

3. Fascination: All begins well as the hero prepares to face the Aliens

4. Frustration: Coming face to face with the creatures from outer space, the hero appears to be outmatched

5. Nightmare: The final battle with the Aliens, which seems hopeless for the hero

6. Escape: Hero overthrows the Aliens and escapes before they can leave earth

7. Return to the old world: Hero returns home, and nobody believes his story

Blake Snyder Beat Sheets (Good Will Hunting)

1. Opening Image: This is fairly self-explanatory; it’s the scene in the movie that sets up the tone, type, and initial salvo of a film, a “before” snapshot — and the opposite of the Final Image

2. Theme Stated: Also easy. Usually spoken to the main character, often without knowing what is said will be vital to his surviving this tale. It’s what your movie is “about”

3. Set-Up: The first 10 pages of a script must not only grab our interest — and a studio reader’s — but introduce or hint at introducing every character in the A story

4. Catalyst: The telegram, the knock at the door, the act of catching your wife in bed with another — something that is done to the hero to shake him. It’s the movie’s first “whammy”

5. Debate: The section of the script, be it a scene or a series of scenes, when the hero doubts the journey he must take

6. Break into Two: Act Two, that is; it is where we leave the “Thesis” world behind and enter the upside-down “Anti-thesis” world of Act Two. The hero makes a choice — and his journey begins

7. B Story: The “love” story, traditionally, but actually where the discussion about the theme of a good movie is found

8. Fun and Games: Here we forget plot and enjoy “set pieces” and “trailer moments” and revel in the “promise of the premise”

9. Midpoint: The dividing line between the two halves of a movie; it’s back to the story as “stakes are raised,” “time clocks” appear, and we start putting the squeeze on our hero(es)

10. Bad Guys Close In: Both internally (problems inside the hero’s team) and externally (as actual bad guys tighten their grip), real pressure is applied

11. All Is Lost: The “false defeat” and the place where we find “the whiff of death” — because something must die here

12. Dark Night of the Soul: Why hast thou forsaken me, Lord? That part of the script where the hero has lost all hope…

13. Break into Three: …but not for long! Thanks to a fresh idea, new inspiration, or last-minute action or advice from the love interest in the B story, the hero chooses to fight

14. Finale: The “Synthesis” of two worlds: From what was, and that which has been learned, the hero forges a third way

15. Final Image: The opposite of the Opening Image, proving a change has occurred. And since we know All Stories Are About Transformation, that change had better be dramatic!

Syd Field Story Structure (Iron Man)

1. Character and story setting are introduced

2. Inciting Incident: The incident that kicks off the story

3. Plot Point 1: An incident, episode or event that hooks the action and spins it around in another direction

4. Confrontation: Conflicts and attempts to reach a goal

5. Pinch 1: The pinch is action or an incident that concentrates the story toward the point which comes next

6. Midpoint: An important scene in the middle of the script. Often a reversal of fortune or revelation that changes the direction of the story

7. Confrontation: Conflict escalates and the stakes are raised

8. Pinch 2: The pinch is action or incident that concentrates the story toward the point which comes next

9. Plot Point 2: An event that thrusts the plot in a new direction, leading into a new act of the screenplay

10. Resolution: The final conflict. Issues of the story will be resolved. Goals will be achieved or not achieved

11. Climax: Forces in opposition confront each other and victory or defeat is the outcome

Hero's Journey (Lord of the Rings)

1. The Ordinary World: This shows the protagonist’s world before that person faces a challenge

2. Call to Adventure (also known as "the inciting incident”): The protagonist is presented with a problem or challenge

3. Refusal of the Call: The protagonist may be initially reluctant to accept the problem or challenge

4. Plot Point 1: The plot twists in a way that significantly changes the protagonist’s actions, in that he or she has decided to accept the challenge

5. Meeting the Mentor: The protagonist finds an ally that will help him or her in navigating the new world of the challenge

6. Crossing the Threshold: The protagonist enters the world in which he or she must deal with the problem or challenge

7. Tests, Allies, and Enemies: In a series of scenes that slowly build toward a midpoint climax, the protagonist encounters friends and foes who test his or her resolve and ability to face the challenge or solve the problem

8. Approach: In meeting the various setbacks, the protagonist finds new ways to go forward

9. Ordeal: The protagonist faces the biggest crisis in which everything is on the line

10. Reward: The protagonist survives the crisis and seems to have the solution

11. Plot Point 2: With the partial solution in hand, the protagonist must face one final ordeal before returning to the ordinary world

12. The Road Back: The protagonist tries to return to the ordinary world

13. Resurrection Hero (also known as “Dark Night of the Soul” or “All is Lost”): The final test in which the protagonist faces death or final defeat

14. Return and Resolution: The protagonist returns to the ordinary world with solutions in hand

Cozy Mystery (Murder She Wrote)

1. Introduce main character

2. Make us like her, give her a few quirks

3. Describe cozy town/close-knit community

4. Crime is committed

5. Main character is involved in some way, near the crime, friend of the victim, etc

6. Main character decides to find out who done it

7. Clues and suspects are introduced from local gossip, rumors, and overheard conversations

8. Seeks advice from local experts who happen to be the Main Character’s friend

9. Discovers key evidence on her own using a skill she possesses (hobby, craft or knowledge)

10. Introduce two or more suspects

11. Investigates the suspects and makes a plan

12. Tricks the criminal into confessing and records it or finds incriminating evidence

13. Main character puts herself in danger as she confronts the villain

14. The criminal is locked away and the small town goes back to easy living

15. The main character learns a moral lesson

Romance (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days)

1. Ordinary world of hero and heroine is interrupted

2. They meet

3. There’s an attraction, but they can’t be together

4. Hero falls for heroine

5. Hero wins heroine over

6. Their affection grows until…

7. False evidence makes hero look guilty of something and the heroine leaves with a broken heart

8. Hero must prove himself worthy of love

9. All seems lost

10. In a desperate attempt, hero takes a leap of faith and saves/wins the heroine

11. The attempt succeeds and the two are united

Thriller (Se7en)

1. Hero introduced

2. Stakes set with a ticking clock

3. Character goals

4. Obstacles seen

5. Stakes are raised when something bad happens

6. Hero comes up with a plan

7. Puts plan into action

8. Everything is going good

9. Then everything goes wrong

10. Life gets real

11. Hero recovers from bad stuff

12. Finds a new angle

13. But it keeps getting worse

14. Stakes are raised

15. All is lost

16. Hero comes up with a new plan

17. After a huge battle, and a close call, the hero reaches his goal

18. Gets the girl

19. Return to ordinary life


May 13, 2019


The butt behind the scuttle in Scuttlebutt with Savy. Someday I will ride a unicorn. Until then, I will write impossible things, drink all the coffee, and laugh a lot. She/her pronouns.

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