The Two Halves of the Climactic Moment

The Climactic Moment is the story in microcosm. The Climactic Moment is where the protagonist’s final relationship to the plot goal is determined by definitive success or failure, as is the character’s relationship to the thematic Lie and Truth. Although the events of the Climactic Moment might not be the “biggest” of the story, they […]

The Two Halves of the Third Plot Point

Like all the major structural turning points, the Third Plot Point is made up of two halves—which work together to create a scene arc (even though, technically, the entire arc of the beat might be told over the course of a scene sequence made up of many scenes). The halves that create this arc are […]

The Two Halves of the Midpoint

The Midpoint is unique among the major structural turning points. Not only is it made up of its own two individual halves—working together to create a scene arc—but the Midpoint also marks the dividing line between the two halves of the entire story arc. As we explored last year in our series on chiastic structure […]

The Two Halves of the First Plot Point

The First Plot Point is one of the most important turning points within the entire structure of story. As with all of the major structural beats, the idea of a “turning point” offers the inherent concept of two halves: turning away from one thing/state into another thing/state. The First Plot Point is often referred to […]

The Two Halves of the Inciting Event

Stories are made of scenes. By one of their simplest definitions, scenes are transitions. They signify a change of some sort—an arc. They start in one place (whether a physical place or an abstract “place”), and they end in another. This is how we determine whether something happens in a scene and whether it “moves […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The Maiden’s Shadow Archetypes

In so many ways, we view life as a story. Within the lifelong journey of this story, the first challenge is that of becoming an autonomous individual—an independent and responsible adult. However obvious that may be, the journey itself cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, although we may all grow up chronologically, the struggle to […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 8: Introduction to the 12 Shadow Archetypes

Where there is light, there is shadow. Where is there is a right way to do things, there are usually several ways to do it wrong. So it goes with archetypal character arcs and their potential shadow archetypes—of which there are two for every positive archetype. Over the last few months, we have explored six […]

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 […]