As part of the How Story Works podcast, I will from time to time reference existing movies, television shows, books and other sources of narrative as examples of concepts we’re discussing. Most of these examples will be movies that are fairly well-known, but sometimes I will reference some less universal examples. As such, I wanted to provide a list of the examples I use in each episode, so if you’re interested in engaging with the “texts” of the course, you can.

I will update this list as I go, with links to online sources for the material where available for each episode in which I reference that material. I will try to re-use examples as often as possible to keep the text list from getting too onerous. Many references, such as to Romeo and Juliet, will be fairly clear with a cursory pop culture knowledge, but if you’d like to engage with the narratives I’ll be referencing often to help you understand the concepts better, I thought I’d provide the list.

I will be listing the texts I’ll be referencing in upcoming episodes, so you can get ahead of the game a bit if you wish.

Let me know if you have any questions!


These are the movies we’ll be watching specifically for the study of structure.


A Few Good Men

His Girl Friday

Easy A


Download the How Story Works Structure Worksheet

Instructions for the How Story Works Structure Worksheet

  1. Watch the movie. Jot down every scene and what happens in that scene. Highlight any scenes that you feel are important, the big moments.
  2. After you’re done, print out the structure worksheet and work out the Central Narrative Conflict (PGAG)
  3. Look at the highlighted, big-moment scenes. Isolate the ones that speak specifically to the Central Narrative Conflict you’ve chosen.
    (If they don’t speak to that conflict, maybe look at options for the Central Narrative Conflict. Is it internal? External? Who is blocking the protagonist?)
  4. Fill in the anchor scenes. Remember that some might not be clear, some might not be there, some might not be in the right order. Would the story be better if they mapped better to the anchor scene structure? Why or why not?