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Old 11-20-2007, 08:55 AM   #11
EJ Pennypacker
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by crustygibblet View Post

Now, what happens if the MDQ is posed around pg. 45?

Does that mean you have a doomed screenplay/movie?
Crusty,

By pg45 I would be very worried that your real story really hasn't started yet. Obviously there's examples of slow burner films where this happens, but I would try and pull that MDQ back into the first act with all the force you can muster. Why does it happen so late anyway? You're obviously building up some form of rules and universe. Is there a way that can't all be contained in the first ten?

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Have you tested your Hero Hybrid Structure Outline by analyzing a produced hero type screenplay to determine how closely it follows your structure outline?
Jon, I haven't had the chance or time to do this, but I'd like to at some point. What I've listed isn't exactly new or ground breaking, it's just a combination of previously listed material all thrown into a melting pot. So I dont see why it wouldn't work.

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Damn! My Break into Three occurred halfway down page 86. I've had to scrap the entire script.
Yes, scrap away.

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I think of the characters until they haunt my soul, then I write loads of scenes until I have enough to string together into a story, writing the linking scenes after so that it flows. For some reason, I'm driven to do a great deal of research, and what I uncover steers the story a bit.
I'm pretty much like that when it comes to the development stage too, but once it's time for outlining, this structure template I will use.

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Old 11-20-2007, 10:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by EJ Pennypacker View Post
I'm pretty much like that when it comes to the development stage too, but once it's time for outlining, this structure template I will use.

EJ
I'm not saying using a template is bad, but keep in mind all the films out there that scream "PLOT POINT A BY PAGE 10", ect...

I thought of Star Trek, too. lol. You could set your watch by the structure points. They rarely deviated from the tried and true. Gee, and it pretty much worked, too!

I wish I was more disciplined. I'd probably get it done much faster. But would it be as fun?
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

I am wondering here... I just visited "Blake Synder's" website, and I should have realized that he has a similar software package to structure out everything like "Dramatica Pro" does... I am wondering if this choice of usage is a good one to try?!

There are so many choices, and with so many opinions at what to try... maybe someone here has used Blake's theory in software?!

I know for certain that "Dramatica Pro" throws me off! It confuses me as I go through the questions, perhaps this is why I am not comfortable with trying out different applications on the similar subject and be confused even more. I know that "Dramatica" support staff has FREE classes and meeting monthly, etc. But, it truly intimidates me at figuring out the points of plot and outcome it wishes for me to write.

So, has anyone used his program, and if so, is there any comparisons to "Dramatica Pro?"
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

I just want to highlight what MDQ is, as I was asked what it stands for.

It's the "Major Dramatic Question" relating to your story.

DIE HARD MDQ is - Will Bruce save his wife, and her colleagues, from the terrorists?

Here's from an old post by Deus:

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The MDQ is raised when the character takes action that defines his goal and the new direction of the story. This may happen fairly close to the II, which by definition is the cause of the hero taking the action, but it isn't until that action that the hero's goal and major dramatic question of the story is defined.

For example:

When Luke sees the message from the Princess it is the inciting incident, but there is no MDQ raised because Luke is still on his story trajectory of staying to work the farm with his Uncle. It isn't until Luke decides to go with Ben to deliver the Death Star plans to the Rebels that the MDQ of "will Luke be able to save the rebels?" is raised. Before that action the MDQ could not exist, it is Luke's action which gives him and the story a new trajectory with a new goal which in turn raises the MDQ about his ability to achieve that new goal.

It isn't until Romeo marries Juliet that the new goal of living happily ever after is formed which also results in the MDQ regarding Romeo's ability to achieve that goal.
Also from more reading with lots of examples of MDQ, click below:

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=30885

EJ
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by suzeaa View Post
I'm not saying using a template is bad, but keep in mind all the films out there that scream "PLOT POINT A BY PAGE 10", ect...

I thought of Star Trek, too. lol. You could set your watch by the structure points. They rarely deviated from the tried and true. Gee, and it pretty much worked, too!

I wish I was more disciplined. I'd probably get it done much faster. But would it be as fun?
I hear what your saying (at least I think I know what you're talking about ) about "plot point by pg 10" type rules. I think most of the guru's out there will admit that all rules can be bent a little. Each script has it's own unique pacing and highs/lows, so whatever works and whatever you can get away with .

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Old 11-20-2007, 01:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by crustygibblet View Post
EJ, I just realized my MDQ starts around Pg. 35, so I guess I'm not as screwed as I thought.
A script I'm working on at the moment has my MDQ clocking in at pg35 as well. I'm trying my best to shave that down as much as possible. For me, it's until that declaration of intent has been made by the main character, that's when the story starts for me, and things get most interesting. But yeah, IMO I would try and get that number down further still.

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Old 11-20-2007, 02:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by Jim Mercurio View Post
Since all of you are familiar with the canonical and current books on screenwriting...are there any recent books that deal--not with structure--but with the craft? Writing scenes, hiding conflict, set ups....with down and dirty examples of how to improve scenes, dialogue, character voices etc...

TIA,
Jim
Yeah, Bill Martell's books..

He has a famous book entitled SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING, about the size of a paperback.. He also has a plethora of smaller blue books on all aspects of screenwriting and these are exactly what you're looking for.. He does audio CDs too BTW. And gives classes..

Check out his web site:-
http://www.scriptsecrets.net/

His Blog
http://sex-in-a-sub.blogspot.com/

His own message board/forum
http://pub18.ezboard.com/bscriptsecrets

SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is out of print and currently being updated.. But you may be able to find a used copy or maybe Bill has one laying around some place - you'll have to contact him..

Although his SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is by far his best-selling book the other smaller blue books are real gems too.. Full if facinating hints and tips on all things screenwriting.. Well worth the dosh!!
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Originally Posted by Kevan View Post
SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is out of print and currently being updated.. But you may be able to find a used copy or maybe Bill has one laying around some place - you'll have to contact him.
Holy crap, it's on sale at amazon.com for between $149.99 and $199.95. Daaamn.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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Holy crap, it's on sale at amazon.com for between $149.99 and $199.95. Daaamn.
It's too valuable to past up... I spoke to Bill at the Expo last month... he isn't releasing an update on that book, he said. It's merely the last one he had... and sold already!

But, if amazon does might be the best choice, try ebay too. Maybe there's something there.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

I'm kind of torn when it comes to beat sheets like Blake Snyder's. On the one hand it seems a little nuts in its rigidity and its assumption that all dramatic structures are the same. But on the other hand I don't want to give myself an easy way out. While I don't really believe that the catalyst has to come on page 12 (or wherever - I forget) I do believe that I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PUT IT THERE! We all should. Screenplays shouldn't be allowed to write themselves - when they do they're usually crap. We should be in control.

But more difficult than getting the beats in the right place is finding the plot points in the story that equate to the beats. This is particularly a problem when the story isn't an obvious Hero's Quest. I'd love to see somebody make a concordance, showing beats and plot points in some films that are not HQ's. Linda Seger approaches this in "How to Make a Good Screenplay Great" which is still the most commonsense book on screenwriting I've seen.

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