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100 Fill-in-the-Blanks to Help You Express Yourself Without Overthinking

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once upon a time, there was ______. every day, ______. one day, ______. because of that, ______. because of that, ______. until finally, ______.

these six fill-in-the-blank sentences are known as the Pixar Storytelling Framework because the renowned animation studio uses it as a mental model for making movies.


with a little creativity, it can also be used to write text messages, blog posts, emails, and more — without spending so much time wondering where do I even begin?

however, due to its focus on the past(“once upon a time), multiple-day-long stories(“every day”), and day-centric inciting incidents(“until one day”), the Pixar Storytelling Framework isn’t quite as versatile as it could be… until now.

with just a few minor tweaks, i adapted the framework for my own personal use, like so:


once upon a time, ______. at first, ______. but then, ______. because of that, ______. because of that, ______. until finally, ______.


now the framework is (mostly) divorced from time altogether, and you can use it to journal about whatever is on your mind.


side note: i'm using the framework to write this introduction as we speak — have you noticed? we're currently nearing the end of the first "because of that" section. aaaand scene.


i originally created this journal for my own edification, but i figured it would be selfish not to share.


my hope is that, by printing it out and filling its pages, you will be better able to…

•organize your thoughts

•process your feelings

•express your self

...all without excessive overthinking.


in conclusion, i'd like to share a passage that i wrote, which was heavily inspired by two quotes — one from the famous "here's to the crazy ones" commercial and one from the amazing spider-man: civil war comic book:


here’s to the storytellers. the truth sayers. the ones who live a thousand lives. the ones with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. they’re not fond of the normal, the ignorant, or the noisy. you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is silence them because to write is to lead. and while some may see them as all talk and no action, we see the bravest act of all — when the mob and the press and the whole world tells them to move, they plant themselves like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world: “no, you move.”

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