Outlaw King

Movie: Directed by David Mackenzie.

Hook: The Scottish lords, including Bruce, unhappily surrender to King Edward I of England and swear fealty.

Inciting Event: The timing tells us the Inciting event is Bruce’s marriage to Edward’s goddaughter. But the true Inciting Event is the riot he witnesses when Wallace’s dismembered arm is displayed publicly.


First Plot Point: Bruce appeals to his rival for the crown, John Comyn, to help him fight the English. Comyn threatens to betray him, and Bruce murders him. Bruce is subsequently crowned King of Scots.

First Pinch Point: The English treacherously attack Bruce’s camp the night before an agreed-upon battle. His followers are slaughtered, and he is forced to go on the run.

Midpoint: Bruce flees to Ireland, while his wife and daughter are imprisoned and two of his brothers killed.

Outlaw King Ireland

Second Pinch Point: Bruce finally returns to Scotland and starts taking back some of the castles, which spurs the English to pursue him with promises of no quarter.

Third Plot Point: Bruce and his followers prepare their first pitched battle against the English—at Loudoun Hill.

Climax: They enter battle.

Climactic Moment: They are triumphant, and the English retreat.

Resolution: Bruce wins, his family is returned to him, Scotland is free (as summarized in subtitles).

Notes: For a further breakdown and discussion of this story’s structural challenges (including an alternative structuring suggestion, based on actual historical events), see this post: How to Choose Your Story’s Plot Points.

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