Ghost

Inciting Event: Sam is murdered and becomes a ghost. This effectively destroys his initial Normal World, but it’s not the First Plot Point for a couple of reasons (other than timing). The first is that the adventure world of the main story still has to be introduced (that “world” being an existence in which Sam is able to communicate from the dead). The second is that the main conflict has yet to be introduced. At this point, we have no idea that Sam was killed in anything but a random mugging.

First Plot Point: Sam realizes the psychic Oda Mae can hear him. This meeting not only introduces the last of the important characters, it also effectively launches a series of reactions from both Sam and Oda Mae as they try to negotiate their new relationship—and Sam’s need to protect Molly. Consider how passive Sam is between the Inciting Event and the First Plot Point, after whiche he becomes noticeably reactive to the conflict.

First Pinch Point: Oda Mae is scared off when she learns the name of Sam’s killer. This isn’t new information to the viewers. They already knew the killer’s name. But not only does Oda Mae’s violent reaction offer new clues about the killer’s threat, it also endangers Sam’s goals by removing Oda Mae’s necessary assistance.

Midpoint: Sam learns that his best friend Carl hired the murderer. Just as it should be, this is a revelation that completely changes the nature of the conflict. Armed with a clear understanding of the conflict and the antagonistic force, Sam is now able to move out reactive mode and into a more active pursuit of his goals.

Second Pinch Point: Carl uses Sam’s computer code to access the money he’s laundering. This is a comparatively weak pinch point. Other than to explain Carl’s motivation, it doesn’t do much to put the “pinch” on Sam—except by extension as Carl grows more and more desperate.

Third Plot Point: Carl threatens to kill Molly if Carl and Oda Mae don’t return the money. Again, not the strongest of plot points. Carl—not Sam—is the one being forced to a low moment here. He retaliates by threatening what Sam loves most, but at this moment it’s still only a threat.

Climax: Carl arrives to kill Molly. The threat of the Third Plot Point becomes real and the action heats up.

Climactic Moment: Sam kills Carl.

Resolution: Sam goes to heaven.

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