Story Charts help visualize the structure of a story.
Story Charts are made up of:
Story Charts can be used to understand the story of movies, books, or anything with a story in it. This is the Story Chart of the movie Casablanca:
The Story Chart reveals the story of Casablanca. We can see:
We can also see the magic of the Casablanca story. Casablanca is a love story, yet we feel satisfied with an anti-climactic ending where the lovers Rick and Ilsa are forever separated.
Let's simplify the Story Chart and strip away all the Turning Points and only look at the resolutions of each plot:
We can see on the Story Chart that even though the love Plot plummets to an anti-climax, the two other Plots finish with positive Climaxes: the rebels escape the Germans and Rick has become a patriot. The film could have ended when Rick sends Ilsa and Victor off because this would have concluded the love story. But we have one more scene at the end in which Rick shoots the German officer Strasser. This scene is crucial because it ensures the safe departure of Ilsa and Victor (a positive climax for the escape plot) and seals Rick’s fate as a patriot (a positive climax for Internal Change Plot). So the film is about Rick giving up a chance at love to become a patriot, and the story is about:
True love leads to living responsiblyThis is the Controlling Idea of the story.
The Story Chart helps us understand the story of Casablanca visually. We can see the interchange of love and patriotic redemption at Climax. Take a look at How To Create Story Charts for movies you love.
Thank you for reading,
James Dai (firstname.lastname@example.org)