Search Results for: midpoint

The Midpoint as the Swivel Point of Your Story’s Linked Structure

The “saggy middle” of a story is one of the biggest challenges writers face. The Second Act is twice as long as the other two acts and yet is often less clearly defined. What’s a writer to do to keep the pacing just as tight and the events just as interesting over the long haul […]

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

I have to thank the Marvel movies for a lot of things–like my Captain America shield pillow, my Iron Man socks, my Spider-Man poster, my Hulk thumb-wrestler. Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes, talking about being a writer, not a fan-girl. One other, slightly more important thing for which I have to thank the Marvel movies […]

creating stunning character arcs the midpoint

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 10: The Midpoint

In a positive change character arc, your protagonist will have spent the First Half of the Second Act blundering around in foreign territory, making mistakes based on false assumptions, and getting his hand slapped for his every wrong move. But he’s also going to have been slowly—maybe even subconsciously—learning his lesson and figuring things out. […]

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 7: The Midpoint

Halfway through our stories, something marvelous happens. There we are, minding our own business, toiling along in the seemingly endless desert of the second act, when—whap! bang! shazam!—everything changes all over again. Legendary director Sam Peckinpah talked about how he always looked for a “centerpiece” on which to “hang” his story. That centerpiece is your second major plot point, the […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 7: The Mage Arc

The final two archetypal character arcs in the life cycle deal primarily with questions of Mortality—and thus inevitably with the ultimate questions about the meaning of life. Throughout this series, we’ve viewed the six “life arcs” as part of a unified story structure, or Three Acts. The First Act—featuring the Maiden and the Hero—focused on […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 6: The Crone Arc

Within the saga of the six archetypal character arcs representing the cycle of human life, the two “elder” arcs that comprise the Third Act of life are perhaps the least dramatized. These arcs are those of the Crone and the Mage. In studying these arcs, it becomes evident that the Third Act of story structure […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 5: The King Arc

If we view the human life and thus the six archetypal character arcs of the “life arcs” as taking on the classic story-structure format of Three Acts, then it is no coincidence that the all-important Midpoint marks the transition from the Queen Arc to the King Arc. In any story, the structural Midpoint represents in […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 4: The Queen Arc

What happens after the happily ever after? This is a question we often ask but seldom explore. As discussed in previous weeks, the two archetypal character arcs that begin the cycle of six “life arcs” are the Maiden and the Hero. Together, they account for a great majority of the archetypal stories we read and […]

Elizabeth

Movie: Directed by Shekhar Kapur Hook: Elizabeth is happy enough, even though imprisoned. She dances with her ladies and makes love with Lord Robert, her childhood sweetheart. Her world is presented as one of a comfortable home, where she is surrounded by people who adore and serve her. Inciting Event: After a Protestant conspiracy against […]

A League of Their Own

Movie: Directed by Penny Marshall Hook: Dottie is busy and fulfilled, caring for her parents’ farm and her husband’s dairy while he’s away at war. She takes care of her kid sister, which frustrates Kit, who wants to grow out of Dottie’s shadow, particularly on the baseball diamond, where they both play in a women’s league. […]