Story arc

The story arc is a map to the story. It is marked with the main events of the story and the order according to which they progress from the beginning to the end of the story.

Since the action seldom progresses evenly, the story is shaped like an arc. From an introduction, the story rises towards its climax for then descending towards the end of the story.

The parts arc can be broken down into three parts: an beginning, middle and end.


At the beginning of the story, the setting, the main character and their normal life are introduced.


  • Who are the characters in the Cinderella story?
  • What kind of people are involved?
  • How do they feel about Cinderella?
  • What kind of person is Cinderella?
  • What do you think about her?

Inciting incident

Something unexpected suddenly happens in the story, it disrupts everyday routines and sets the main character on the move.

Now the main character has a goal that they set out to pursue. Or a problem to solve at any cost.


  • What surprising thing happens?
  • What does Cinderella want?


Not everything always goes as planned and the main character faces adversity and contradictory situations as they strive towards the goal. They bring more movement and excitement to the story: “how does this all work out”?


  • Who is against Cinderella?
  • Who helps Cinderella?

The climax of the story

The tension of the story reaches its peak. The main character gets into a decisive situation or makes an important decision.


  • What is the climax of the Cinderella story?
  • What is happening?


The tension of the story begins to decrease. The story moves towards a resolution. However, the situation is not yet completely resolved, and the main character still has to struggle to achieve what she/he wants.


  • How does the prince recognize Cinderella as the real bride?


At the end of the story, the main character’s situation changes, or she/he grows mentally. At the end of the story, it is also told what the future looks like.


  • How is Cinderella?
  • Are naughty stepsisters punished?
  • What is the lesson of the story?

The exercise uses the Cinderella story written by Charles Perrault.