Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seven basic needs to a story line

1. A hero – the person through whose eyes we see the story unfold, set
against a larger background.
2. The hero’s character flaw – a weakness or defense mechanism that
hinders the hero in such a way as to render him/her incomplete.
3. Enabling circumstances – the surroundings the hero is in at the
beginning of the story, which allow the hero to maintain his/her
character flaw.
4. An opponent – someone who opposes the hero in getting or doing what
he/she wants. Not always a villain. For example, in a romantic comedy,
the opponent could be the man or woman whom the hero seeks romance
with. The opponent is the person who instigates the life-changing
5. The hero’s ally – the person who spends the most time with the hero
and who helps the hero overcome his/her character flaw.
6. The life-changing event – a challenge, threat or opportunity
usually instigated by the opponent, which forces the hero to respond
in some way that’s related to the hero’s flaw.
7. Jeopardy – the high stakes that the hero must risk to overcome
his/her flaw. These are the dramatic events that lend excitement and
challenge to the quest.

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