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Basically, this shit works...and I'll prove it to you.
Think about your favorite film, play, story and outline it using this outline...I betcha the reason why you love that story is because it hits these plot points hard and clearly...
This is how you create engaging story
1. Using the outline below, outline your favorite movie
2. If you have a first draft of your script, then plug your script into this outline format
I. Opening Image
The opening image that is a metaphor for your story. For example, the golden fields in _The Color Purple_ with two little girls singing a childhood hand game is a great one. It's about innocence and beauty taken away from two little girls too soon. They are all alone in a huge golden field...that's their ideal world. When they're removed from it...all hell breaks loose the movie can't come back together until they get back to that field. That's hella brillant.
That's the metaphor for the entire film...lost childhood, lost sisters. It's best to figure out your opening image once you have a solid working draft or even a final draft.
II. Inciting Incident
The inciting incident is the event that causes the story to happen. It's the moment before your first scene. It's the reason we're here.
The exciting incident is the reason why the story is being told. For example, each Law & Order episode begins with the crime happening in real time. Then the credits roll across the screen right before the first scene in which the heroes of our story discover the murder and decide to seek justice. The murder is the inciting incident.
III. Climbing the Mountain
The 6 major problems that lead us to the first act break . Before you've begun writing, you should know your heroine's major flaw.
_(I have a whole separate class on character creation, so buy the 12 Step Finish Your Damn Script if you want to learn it...)_
**These 6 plot points are problems that you create for your heroine that help he finally work through their major fatal flaw.**
**BTW, I always use the word 'heroine'
(it's interchangeable with Dora Milaje)
because women should always
be at the center of your universe...
if they're not,
therein lies your problem....
as you were....LMBAO**
**Each problem should have higher stakes than the last.**
As the character solves one problem, it should create another even bigger problem...this is what builds momentum and helps you stay ahead of the reader.
IV. End of First Act
A. All story set-up is done, all major characters are onboard and wonder twins are activated (work with me here).
We know what your Dora Milaje's fatal flaw...the end of the first act requires huge physical change for the protagonist...this is often symbolized by change of location or drastic change in physical circumstances.
V. Turning Point
The Turning Point happens in the middle of your second act. Something major is revealed that after disaster after disaster, it looks as if the protagonist may succeed. Things seem to have turned around finally. This is the first time this has happened. If the 6 major plot points leading up to the end of Act I have huge stakes and we see the protagonist really struggling with a problem and failing (or not quite making the turn), then the Turning Point is earned.
VI. The Point of Commitment
The point of commitment is where the protagonist decides "Fuck It," I'm getting this done regardless of the roadblocks, my own personal failings and decides it's do or die. It's around page 60 or an hour into your screenplay. However, this is not a hard and fast rule...a produceable first screenplay should clock in somewhere between 80-90 pages...so keep it tight so you keep us engaged.
Don't overthink this one because if you've created a really strong character, you will probably have done this already.
VII. We are so fucked right now
Or the all is lost moment when your main character is going through an insurmountable problem and it looks like he will most definitely fail. Stakes must be "hella high" for maximum impact. Sort of a _personal_ climax for your heroine. This moment is at the end of Act II.
VII. The Epic Orgasm
This is the climax. Your heroine has brought all of her powers to bear in this final showdown. She wields her super powers, will power, prayers and exhortations like a righteous spear of justice waging war against evil.
This is the moment your heroine works through her fatal flaw as she learns her lessons in the second act.
If you've raised the stakes clearly in each plot point leading to the first act break, then this is a very satisfying orgasm. lolz...
IX. Your Happy Ending
I only like happy endings...if I want to see some sad or evil shit, I turn on Fox....
So here is where you resolve the story. Where the heroine actually gets to sit back and enjoy her hard work.....she is in balance...the world is good and everybody is eating ben & jerry's half baked, drinking red wine & falling in love.
This is the stuff dreams are made of....
X. Closing Image
The closing image that is a metaphor for the journey your heroine has taken.
What's the lesson here?
What has your Dora Milaje learned?
Create a visual metaphor for that lesson....think back to your open image, what's missing to make it complete?
Answer that question in your closing image. That's the beauty of poetic and visual storytelling...images can slay the heart and that's why we long for epic stories.