Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

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  • Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

    So for fun, debate and discussion, I've been inspired after reading Blake's SAVE THE CAT to combine all of the other structures I know of, into one big fat outline, using the SAVE THE CAT fifteen point method as the skeleton to bridge a whole story.

    Viki Kings, Chris Vogler (thank you JC), Blake Snyder, John Truby, Michael Hauge and our own Deus have all be inspirations for the list.

    I will say this does lean more towards the typical HERO-style story as per Voglers book (see that for descriptions of sequences), but I think it's obvious that it can be applied to any story.

    I'm curious what the folks here have to make of it, and whether anyone can see any room for improvement or have any concerns about it.

    A big thanks to Phatgirl for allowing me to bounce this many times off her!

    Enjoy.




    BEAT SHEET

    Title:
    Logline:
    Theme:
    Internal & External Issue (MDQ):

    Opening Image (page1)

    • State opening with important imagery. Establish TIME, LOCATION, MOOD/TONE.

    Theme Stated (pg5)

    • Pose THEME question.

    Set-Up (pgs 1-10)

    • Show the hero in his/her ordinary world.
    • What is the story about (foundation of premise).
    • Whose story is it (establish HERO)?
    • What is their internal ISSUE? (mental problem/ wound/ scar)
    • What do they want (GOAL)?
    • What’s stopping them from getting it?
    • Make them likeable/relatable.
    • Make the audience care about them (SAVE THE CAT method).

    Catalyst (pg12)

    • Inciting Incident. Call to Adventure. Event presented to them to start the story.

    Debate about Goal (pgs 12-25)

    • Discussion of GOAL.
    • Refusal of CATALYST.
    • Mentor ENCOURAGES.
    • Establish the stakes here too. (What happens if the hero doesn't reach their goal?)
    • Establish NEMISIS.
    • The MDQ is posed. The point at which we "see" what will happen in the rest of the movie, and we know the movie will be over when the MDQ is answered.

    Break into Two/ Final Commitment to Goal (pg25)

    • They pledge to story GOAL and promise to topple MDQ. The mission is ON!

    Fun and Games & Trailer Moments (pgs30-55)

    • Plot B (sub-plot) often linked with THEME.
    • TESTS (FUN and GAMES) & Promise of the Premise & Set Pieces.
    • ALLIES.
    • ENEMIES appear.
    • Give clue to ARC through MDQ.
    • The POINT OF NO RETURN – THEY STOP REACTING - AND ACT/ "no going back"
    • Change

    Midpoint (pg55)

    • Low point. False victory. MDQ in serious doubt. Story flipped/re-directed. Often the point where a TIME CLOCK or TICKING CLOCK method is introduced.

    Bad Boys Close In (pgs55-75)

    • HERO bands together and gets pumped with PLAN OF ATTACK for GOAL.
    • Approach the Inner Cave.
    • Bad Guys “Evil Plan” is put in motion.
    • Complications/higher stakes.
    • HERO makes some progress (REWARD).
    • Plot B - evidence of growth and change but perhaps still not committed.
    • HERO discovery of BETRAYL.
    • HERO learns of “Evil Plan”.
    • Chase/escape/setbacks --> act 2 climax.

    All is Lost (pg75)

    • Everything fails and blows up big-time in their face (due to EVIL PLAN or due to the hero's goal or plan being the wrong goal or plan). Tie in with PLOT B failure.

    Dark Night of the Soul (pgs 75-85)

    • HERO is at their lowest point. Suicide? Smell of fear...
    • The hero is confronted with a choice here whether to stay in the special world or return to the ordinary world.
    • The hero discovers a hidden truth about the nature of the obstacle to his goal/ re-frame for three.

    Break into Three (pg 85)

    • Dedication to resolving problem, and they have “Eureka” moment. (The hero finally realizes he/she's been going about things in the wrong way.)
    • Rebirth / Hero sets out to answer the MDQ.

    Finale Showdown (pgs85-110)

    • Establish NEW PLAN OF ACTION.
    • Prepare for NEW PLAN OF ACTION.
    • Implement NEW PLAN OF ACTION.
    • Plot B tie-in (character(s) CHANGE and it often helps with FINAL GOAL).
    • Hero confronts an obstacle greater than ever imagined. Must overcome the internal need/flaw to succeed.
    • HERO wins/ defeats NEMISIS.

    Final Curtain (pg110)

    • Hero's resurrection.
    • Plot-B: Scene showing full character growth of HERO.



    EJ
    Last edited by EJ Pennypacker; 11-07-2008, 12:26 PM. Reason: Added TIME CLOCK mention at Mid-Point

  • #2
    Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

    So that's what a beat sheet is.

    No wonder it's been so hard for me up to now...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

      Vogler is a God.

      Also, to combine with the low point, p 55 is a good point to flip the story again and redefine expectations/rules--essentially another 1st turning point.
      https://actbreakdown.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

        Damn! My Break into Three occurred halfway down page 86. I've had to scrap the entire script.
        TimeStorm & Blurred Vision Book info & blog: https://stormingtime.com//

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

          You have the catalyst and inciting incident as being the same thing. Some think they're different things and occur at different points (which I'm confused about btw). Anyone?

          "We're all immigrants now, man."
          - Zia (Patrick Fugit), "Wristcutters: A Love Story"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

            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

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

              I always tend to think of the catalyst as a complication that's part of the set-up. It establishes the stakes. And the inciting incident is what drags or drives the protag into the actually story you're telling (the one that poses the MDQ).

              Say a guy gets an eviction notice, he and his young wife and kids will be put out on the streets of Flint Michigan in February. (catalyst)

              Then his old friend from high school offers him a job, a chance to rob some drug dealers and get the money to pay his rent and save his family. (inciting incident)

              Lame example, but that's one way to look at catalyst vs inciting incident. And yes, some people use the two terms interchangably.

              PS - on page 3, just before getting the eviction notice, he saves a cat that was living in his neighbor's truck engine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                I like what you're developing here.

                Have you tested your Hero Hybrid Structure Outline by analyzing a produced hero type screenplay to determine how closely it follows your structure outline?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                  I couldn't write that way!

                  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 figure out most of the above when I'm well into it.

                  Strangely enough, the first draft of my latest one made it to finalist in a contest and the reader said:

                  Structure: Flawless

                  lol.

                  I would worry that being so structured right at the start might lead to predictability. No?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                    These points will surely help in my development, maybe if I keep practicing I will get it right every time...

                    Who knows, maybe next year I can enter into the CS Open and win by flawless structure.
                    D. Alin
                    http://alinproduction.blogspot.com Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Basically) [Skype me at "Buyitpc" - I will surely love to talk!]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                      Originally posted by crustygibblet

                      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?

                      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.

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

                      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.

                      EJ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                        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?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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?"
                          D. Alin
                          http://alinproduction.blogspot.com Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Basically) [Skype me at "Buyitpc" - I will surely love to talk!]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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:

                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hero Hybrid Structure Outline

                              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 .

                              EJ

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