We create a problem for a character and/or the audience.
Who's the protagonist? What's his problem? How does it become his mission in the story?
Who's the antagonist?
- First ¼ of story
- What is the locale
- Who are the major players
- What is (are) the major conflict(s)/problem(s)
- What is the narrative enigma—
Will the boy get the girl? Will planet earth be destroyed?
- Major themes (a conspicuous element which repeats)
- A mood is established
- Conventions are established such as voice over, moving camera
Plot Point I: "the plot thickens"
- The "inciting incident"
- Turn the story in a new direction
- Sets up what Act Two is going to be
- Raises the stakes
- Reminder of the narrative enigma; presents the possibility of a different outcome
Middle section of the story
- At least ½ the entire story
- Struggle to achieve the solution to the problem
- Further complications to finding the solution
- The cycle of struggles and complications are called reversals
Plot Point II: "the longest mile"
- The "Climactic Turning Point"
- Protagonist's quest reaches critical mass
- Possible solution is presented
- Biggest cliffhanger: will the protagonist win or lose?
Act III: The End
The Protagonist achieves his mission
- No more than ¼ of the story, usually less
- The conflict or problem is resolved
- Final crisis (or "rising action") plays out to climax; then to resolution
- Narrative closure
- Narrative aperture