"Once Upon a Time"

Based on literary critics such as Propp et.al., essays written on the theme "Once Upon a Time" are essentially folk tales that tell a narrative or story.

Narratives start and end in a common pattern throughout the world, although details and circumstances may differ.  Some have a moral, others have an ending the "satisfies the soul" by solving the problem or crisis. 

Narratives are often outlined as follows:

Once upon a time...

a _______________


What made the problem even worse was....

Along the way, __________ met a _________ who told him a secret.
Later, ___________ met a ___________  who gave him a magical/special _______
Then, a _________ came along who who threw an obstacle in the way of the [problem] enough so he could use the magical/special object to win against the problem.

"And they all lived happily ever after."  "And the kingdom lived in peace and prosperity." etc.  Sometimes the story has a lesson to leave with the listener/reader:  "The morale of this story is that the hero is not outside somewhere, but
inside of you."


Folk tales usually have a hero, a villain, a problem/quest, three helpers/friends and three magical or special objects used to defeat the villain or solve the problem.  They are always written in past tense (he walked, he told, etc.)

Sample outline

The Pauper Boy

The pauper boy always had bad luck.
    Example 1:  won the lottery but couldn't find the ticket.
    Example 2:  lost his home or books
    Example 3:  nobody would talk to him
Then one day, he met an old woman
    Help 1:  Told him You have to drink a potion
    Help 2:    Go find the potion from >...
    Help 3:  Takes the potion
So then he won the lottery, got his home back and everybody like to talk to him.