Search Results for: climax

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. […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Hero Arc

Ah, the hero. Heroic stories are so important and so prevalent throughout the history of storytelling that the word “hero” itself has become all but synonymous with that of “protagonist.” That the Hero Arc is in fact but one of many important archetypal character arcs does not lessen its importance within the cycle. The Hero’s […]

Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Maiden Arc

The First Act of the human experience—roughly the first thirty years—may be thought of as a period of Initiation. It is a period of integrating the parts of one’s self. In many ways, it is a period in which the overarching, symbolic antagonist may be thought of as Fear. We use the arcs of this […]

Edward Scissorhands

Movie: Directed by Tim Burton. Hook: Edward lives alone in a mansion, where he has been ever since his creator, an inventor, died and left him “unfinished” with scissors in place of hands. Inciting Event: The nice Avon lady Peg discovers Edward in the mansion and invites him to live with her family. First Plot […]

Wishsong of Shannara

Book: By Terry Brooks Inciting Incident: Brin’s Plotline: Brin, who has the power to wield magic by singing, agrees to accompany the druid Allanon deep into the Eastlands to destroy a book of evil magic that is corrupting the land. Jair’s Plotline: Jair is captured by the gnome tracker, Slanter, who demands to know why […]

The Power of Chiastic Story Structure (Especially in a Series)

When writers put on their story theorist caps, nothing is more exciting than those moments when you get to recognize consistent patterns emerging within obvious story forms. This is the basis of all of our understanding (and musing) about story, including the chiastic story structure we’ve been studying these past few months. Although writers sometimes […]

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 […]

The Link Between Your Story’s Hook and Resolution

On a theoretical level, art often comes down to patterns. As readers and even writers we are not always conscious of these patterns, but whenever we are able to recognize that a story works—or does not work—usually what we are responding to is the comparative effectiveness of certain underlying patterns. This is perhaps nowhere more […]

The Crucial Link Between Your Story’s Inciting Event and Climactic Moment

We talk about story being an arc, but in many ways it is more of a circle. A well-constructed story is a seamless whole in which its two halves reflect each other. We see this clearly in classic story structure, and perhaps nowhere more crucially than in the link between a story’s Inciting Event and […]