Story templates are not new to the 21st century. In the 1930’s, The Plot Genie helped writers assemble a plot with a spinning wheel and lists of situations.[1. It is back in print, and if you use it and like it, please let me know.] I tried it decades ago, but couldn’t bring myself to care about my story because it wasn’t mine. It felt like putting a frozen dinner in the microwave and claiming I cooked it.
There are many templates, matrixes, grids, and formulas. The classic three-part “Setup, Conflict & Resolution” is so universal and general that it’s hardly a template, but “22 building blocks” is definitely a template.
Some people love templates. They feel comforted having the sections laid out in advance. Some people hate templates. They feel bound by formula as if in a straitjacket. But straitjackets are