Story in a Nutshell

Here is nearly every story you see or hear in a nutshell: A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.

That’s really it. You’ll see some form of this structure in nearly every movie you watch from here on out. These seven basic plot points are like chords of music in the sense that you can use them to create an infinite variety of narrative expression. Just like playing the guitar, with these seven chords you can create any number of songs. Varying too far from these chords, however, means you risk descending into noise. 

from “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller