Last time we met, I talked about the Heroine's journey compared to the Hero's; today I will be deconstructing another structure that follows similar beats, however within broader terms. Naturally I am talking about the famous Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet. I will be breaking down this structure along with the Monster in the House trope, as promised. All the excitement. So lets get started!
1. The Ordinary World
Hero is introduced with a situation the audience can
identify with; this dilemma reveals the hero's personality, and his background.
2. The call to adventure
Something comes and breaks the ordinary world
of the hero that calls for him to act
3. Refusal of the Call
Of course the hero is scared, or has other reason
to stay in the Ordinary world
4. Meeting with the Mentor
Hero meets a 'seasoned traveler' who trains them, or provides wisdom; this helps the hero discover their own strength-- or at least embeds it for later
5. Crossing the Threshold
End of Act One: hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World (or their new 'safe' world) and enters new region
6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies
Hero is tested, and starts creating their own
allegiances in the Special World
Hero and newfound allies prepare for the 'boss match'
8. The Ordeal
Middle of Story, or thereabouts. Hero faces their
death, or faces their greatest fear.
Out of this he gains his true strength.
9. The Reward
Hero takes treasure won by the ordeal-- celebration, sometimes danger of losing treasure again
10. The Road Back
Three-fourths through story now; hero is now fully invested in his quest and completes it; usually great danger when they try to escape
11. The Resurrection
Climax. Final test of the hero on the threshold home-- this one is usually far more personal, and 'higher' then the rest of the ordeals. Usually this is linked to issues in the very beginning (their fatal flaw, for an example)
12. Return with the Elixir
Hero returns home (or continues journey) bearing some element of the treasure that has transformed the hero, and may possibly change the world
Blake Snyder's Beats
1. Opening Image
Usually a visual motif of the character's world be it their current ordinary position, or their struggle
Expand on the ordinary world; what is it, and what is missing?
3. Theme Stated
What is the message, the truth, of your story that the character is about to learn (usually what is missing), and can't at present due to lack of experience
The moment that propels the character out of the ordinary, and head-first into their new world
It's scary, and the character is filled with doubt; this is the final chance for the hero to chicken out
6. Break into Two
The journey begins, but we step aside to focus on--
7. B Story
Usually the 'love story'; we also stop usually here to discuss the theme-- has the character realised something is missing?
8. The Promise of the Premise
This is when we do the stuff in the trailer; we are now fully immersed in the new world and having a little fun; danger, naturally, but not overly high stakes
Depending on story, this is when everything is great, or awful; the main character either gets everything they think they want (great), or don't (awful). 'What we want is not what we need' moment usually
10. Bad Guys Close In
Physical, or emotional, maybe both-- the danger returns destroying the previous lull (great or awful).
11. All is Lost
Opposite of Midpoint: the main character realises they've lost everything they've gained, or that it has
no meaning now. The initial goal looks even more impossible and often someone dies here allowing
a new door to open.
12. Dark Night of the Soul
Rock bottom. The character feels forsaken and is mourning his loss; but it's only through hitting this point that he can truly rise to the top.
13. Break into Three
Second chance: the new plan is created; and with
last minute air-play to B Story (love story most likely),
t's do or die.
14. Break into Three
This is it. The nugget of truth now makes sense and we
have the final battle with the hero fully set on his belief.
15. Final Image
Often opposite of opening image, revealing the change
in the character.
Author @ REUTs
Heroine And Hero Journey
High And Low Concept
Monster In The House
RAID MY BRAIN
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