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Villians Are People Too

Every story needs an antagonist, and every writer needs to learn how to write them well. This is no easy task, as the point of the hero’s journey is usually to uphold your view of the world, and the antagonist – it should go without out saying – threatens that world view. Back in the day, you could just write good guy/bad guy scenarios where the lines between good and evil were clearly defined, and good always prevailed, but let’s face it: people are bored with that! No, no. What today’s audiences want, and frankly, what we as writers want too, is for movies to be living testaments to the human experience. Let’s take a lesson from the Impressionist painters and realize that black and white do not exist in nature: only shades of grey. Let us think then, if this is our pallet, what can we paint with it?

If our audiences are bored with good prevails over evil, then let’s begin with these two concepts. Good. Not that tricky. That’s what makes this dreary, drab, dull place called Earth seem tolerable. Evil. Also not that tricky. It is that which makes this glorious, euphoric, orgasmic place called Earth seem dreary, drab, and dull in the first place. Now how to take those things and turn them into unique and engaging characters?

It’s actually not that difficult. All you have to do in order to get into the mind of your antagonist is remember that there is no such thing as evil; rather that there is a dangerous propensity within the human mind for rationalizing even the most inhumane and illogical thoughts. Be it from he- said-she-said, to Nazi’s killing Jews, life is simply absurd.

Just like this is absurd. Funny only because that cat is harmless. I will point out to that the cat’s stash is just part of his nature. While environment and circumstances to play a huge role in shaping real people & fictional characters, NEVER FORGET that “born this way” is a real thing. The nervous system, taste buds, other senses, brain chemistry, genetic coding, pheromones…all that plays a huge part in making a person who they are.

So yeah, life is absurd, but there is some order amid all the chaos. Realize it. Recognize it. Write about it. The more sense you try to make out of your characters, the better, especially when it comes to your antagonists. In some respects, they should be more fleshed out that your antagonists since they come into the story on the losing side. “The losing side of what?” you might ask. Popular opinion, that’s what. That includes your audience’s opinion and your own. The problem then boils down to an issue of respect, and before you set pen to paper in the effort to describe them you must ask yourself, “Do I respect this character?” And to that effect, “Are they a force to be reckoned with?” The two are mutually exclusive: for your antagonist to be a worthy opponent, he or she must be powerful, and the concept of power – as we all know – is relative to our own weaknesses. As the documentors of these living testaments to the human experience that we call films, we need to ask ourselves these questions.

There will be times in your life of writing when the character that’s screaming their story in your ear is the type of person whose ideological beliefs differ from yours, and whose moral compass points in a direction you’ve never even heard of, or that you have, at least, tried to steer clear of. Take heart, for the question you should be asking yourself is not, “Should I write this character?” but rather, “How should I tell their story?” Villainous, devious, malcontent; these have been the cornerstones of some of cinema’s greatest protagonists since D.W. Griffith (not so much a nice guy himself) paved the way for gangster films with “The Musketeers of Pig Alley.” And it’s only natural. There is no light without the darkness after all, right?


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Feeling Blue? Top 10 Writing Exercises To Cheer You Up!

Nobody knows better than us crazy writers that the lows are just as necessary as the highs, but that doesn’t mean we like these darker, more tumultuous times any better. So what do we do about it? We write, duh!

Or we sit around smoking cigarettes and talking shit about other people until we feel better.

Bottom line, it’s now time to take out your old-fashioned pen and paper, or open up your newfangled Word document, and git on down to it!

10. You are like Luke Skywalker. Write three different opening paragraphs to your autobiography, trying out very different styles.

9. Write the lyrics of a catchy jingle for a plumbing service.

8. You are a superhero. What are your powers, and how do you use them?

7. Write an X-rated Disney scenario.

6. Drink a beer. Write about the taste.

5. Write a bathroom wall limerick.

4. Create an imaginary friend (human or not).

3. Write about your life among the pirates.

2. Write a poem about a tomato.

1. Go ahead. Write about that time you peed your pants.

Happy writing, and happier times ahead!


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Becoming Memorable: Top 10 Things to Talk About in an Interview

Ever find yourself at a loss for words in an interview? If you’re a writer, this is an especially embarrassing occurrence as we are supposed to be great communicators. The following are a few tips on how to carry an organic conversation appropriate for the interview setting. As you read each suggestion, remember that the film business is all about connections, and making connections is all about being open and honest. The simplest way to go about presenting yourself in a way that will attract others, and entice them to connect with you is to learn the art of conversation. Just think “topics.” Start with where you grew up, where you went to school, what you studied, your hobbies, etc. etc. These are great icebreakers for a first conversation. If the conversation goes well, say with a producer or an agent, and they ask you more about yourself, do yourself a favor and tell an anecdote or two. As a writer you should have a few dozen anecdotes readily available in your mind’s back pocket. Here’s a list of the Top 10 Interview Anecdote Topics.

10. Tell ’em one thing that you have done or accomplished that most people haven’t. Have several accomplishments in mind, and pick the one you feel most appropriate to share based on context.

For example, if I were interviewing for a writing job geared towards women’s issues, I might take that opportunity to mention that I overcame anorexia and other eating disorders when I was a teenager. Furthermore, I’d give an example of how those experiences affected certain subject matter found in my writing. It may sound too personal for an interview, but trust me, it’s better to come off as flawed but interesting, than perfect but boring.

9. Tell ’em something about yourself that might surprise them (in a good way).

For example, I might segue away from eating disorders into a lighter topic by telling a joke in the guise of a little secret. “Shhh, don’t tell anyone,  but, I wear socks with sandals!” I don’t actually do that, and in all likelihood  I’d end up revealing that I’m a huge Trekkie just because I seem to always find a way to relate whatever I’m talking about to Start Trek. No lie.

8. Tell ’em the story about how you got into writing in the first place.

In my case, I would tell them about the life changing thought I had upon completion of my very first screenplay, which was, “I could do this every day for the rest of my life.” It was revolutionary. And it stuck. Luckily, I had a brilliant mentor, Fred Strype (pictured above), who guided me toward finding my voice, as well as helping me hone my art and my craft. I still hear him standing over my shoulder as I stare off into space, my mind a blank canvass. He says, “Cut the shit and do the thing!” and I jump into action.

7. Tell ’em one thing you’ll bring to the table that other cannot or will not.

You’re probably looking at this photo thinking, “what anecdote could Holly be about to tell?” It’s this: brand yourself! Okay, that’s not a story, but it’s a good image to start with. Let’s break it down. First of all, I’m a smart, ambitious, and talented woman. But I’m also really nice, a bit kooky, but most importantly, very nurturing (see the little panda baby? I like panda babies). It’s good to use descriptive words, but even better to paint a picture of how you are to work with (what you like, dislike, experience you’ve had in the past, hopes and dreams for your future, and what you consider the ideal work scenario to be). If you can give specific examples of times when you have displayed those qualities, now is the time to speak up about it.

6. Tell ’em what the most satisfying compliment you ever received was.

Now is a great time to direct the conversation back to how great you are as a person in general (like questions 1 and 2), but with a greater emphasis on your humility. How can a a compliment that someone else gave you show humility? Well, do you think Ayn Rand (whom I’m actually kind of a fan of) cared about compliments? No, and the point is that you’re showing that you value the opinions of others. What was the best compliment I ever got? It was when the most brilliant, talented and ambitious person that I know called and asked for my advice. Priceless.

5. Tell ’em one specific passion that drives you.

Chipping away at what’s between me and the Truth. ‘Nuff said.

4. Tell ’em one way in which you distinguish yourself in the marketplace.

You all know how much I love Jennifer Lawrence, and this is in part because she knows what she’s doing when it comes to positioning herself in the marketplace as a serious actress looking for longevity of career. Think of ways in which you are going to brand yourself. Remember to walk and talk the part.

3. Tell ’em about your experience – slash – credibility; what you’ve done and with whom.

If the conversation has gone on this long, you’re more than likely at the level of intimacy where you can name drop without coming off like a total twat. But still – proceed with caution, and do not try to ride on another person’s fame or glory. As always you should stick to things you are proud of and really worked hard for. This shows potential financiers that you, well, work hard, but also that you’ve been paying your dues. They like to see that in the biz. In my case, I interned 40 hours a week at Reeling: Chicago’s 30th Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival last summer. There I worked with Brenda Webb, a truly delightful woman who I would love to have the opportunity to work with again, as well as the other staff at Chicago Filmmakers. What I mainly did was curate the short film program, which was basically the best job ever. Watch movies all day, pick the best ones, color-coordinate my notes, and group like things together? Love it.  (Notice here that I stay positive throughout the conversation and NEVER EVER say anything negative about anyone else. EVER.)

2. Tell ’em how you think someone who really admired you would introduce you to a stranger at a networking event.

Remember that this is you as a writer, not as a person, but try to use descriptive words that apply to the "you" in both senses. If you're unsure of how people admire think of you, try asking said people, or pulling from letters of recommendation.

Remember that this is you as a writer, not as a person, but try to use descriptive words that apply to the “you” in both senses. If you’re unsure of how people admire think of you, try asking said people, or pulling from letters of recommendation. In the case of moi, it has been said I am “fearless,” have a “distinctive writer’s voice” and that my “ability at presenting the details of life while characterizing the broader themes of the human condition reminds one of that ability in the writing of F.S. Fitzgerald.” Nice. It had also been said, by an entirely different person, that my writing “seems at first to fluctuate between the wacky and the excruciatingly lowbrow…” – just wait, it gets better – but “…her excruciatingly lowbrow is always artfully commenting on how the ordinary can have such a powerful over us.” Ergo, I’m like sugar water that tastes like red, and a vintage ruby engagement ring coexisting interestingly together. Or something.

1. Tell ’em who you’re going to thank most of all when you win your first Oscar.

Yous guys will def get a shout out, but moms gets the biggest.

Yous guys will def get a shout out, but ain’t no’ne getten more’n Mom. (Oh what? You didn’t know I’m from Jersey? Cape May, hun.)

There’s no denying it. If you get through all these topic points and you’ve still got their interest, you’re probably a shoo-in. If I were you, I would copy these prompts and jot down a sentence or two for each one, or key words and phrases to help you come up with and remember your anecdotes, or “talking points” as we like to say in the parlance of our times.

Happy connection making!


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Top 10 Things Not to Do While Having Trouble Writing

10. Do not read this blog.

Whuuut? That’s right. It’s only more procrastination. But on the other hand…read it anyway.

9. Do not take your hands off your writing utensil.

Hey, now! There’s a toddler present. And that is not what I meant by writing utensil. …Though that would be impressive.

8. Do not think about where your writing is going.

Look at me writing all these postcards at the last minute. You think I thought about what I was writing? …Well, yeah, I did. But I’m obsessive and never stop thinking about my writing, no matter what the form.

7. Do not pass Go. Go directly to Jail.

By which I mean, now is the time to sit and reflect. Think about what you are doing and where your story is going. I know this contradicts #9., but just trust me on this. Pull up your handy structure map, and fill it in with the main plot points for your protagonist’s journey.

6. Do not ignore my effing instructions! Print out this structure map and fill it in with your major plot points. Seriously. If you can do that, move onto drawing up an outline, and from there your scenes. But if you cannot fill in the blanks, stare at this map until you figure out the route your story must take.

Print me.

5. Do not waste your time. Use it to your advantage.

Because these are the days of our lives. …Vomit.

4. Do not forget your art.

Remember that your art and your voice are simply dictated by your perspective on the world. Write things as you see them and you will never trip up.

3. Do not forget your craft.

Remember that screenwriting is born out of the ancient oral tradition of telling campfire stories. To hook cavemen into sitting down quietly and listening to you yabber on for an hour requires great skill, and a certain amount of calculation. That is your craft. The logic element. Think of the contents you want to put in your basket as your art, and the basket as your craft. It is what holds everything together.

And is best done in the buff.

2. Do not forget yourself.

Now is maybe a good time to journal. Reflect on your day, your week, your overall existence and experience with the human condition…that sort of thing.

Wise are you, Sage One.

1. Do not Google yourself.

Seriously? Not even close.


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MFA Showcase A Success

This past Friday, Northwestern’s MFA Writing for the Screen + Stage department held it’s annual showcase, featuring the work of the year’s graduating MFAs. Each of the 12 members of the cohort were allotted 10 minutes for a table read done by professional actors and directors from around the Chicago area. The talent was undeniable, the show a pleasure to behold, and the entire evening a delight. In addition to watching the highly entertaining and thought provoking work of these amazingly talented burgeoning writers, the night featured some guest stars including…

Julia Louis Dreyfus. (That’s right, it’s Elaine!)

Brad Hall. JLD’s husband and producer on such shows as SNL, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Frasier.

(By the way, both Julia Louis Dreyfus and her husband Brad Hall are alumni of Northwestern. Feels so good to wear purple sometimes.)

We were also graced with the presence of…

Amanda Watkins, the Director of Development at the Araca Group in NYC.

And last but certainly not least…

Kia Corthron, playwright, and Academy Award Winning TV writer for The Wire.

I’m truly counting my blessings right now as I look back on what unfolded but a few days ago. For the first time, all the hard work my cohort and I have been putting into building our portfolios really felt like it paid off. Not only did these notable people watch a play by little old us, but they actually seemed to enjoy it! I must, at this point, give many thanks to David Kersnar from Lookingglass Theater for directing my scene, as well as to Leah Karpel, JJ Phillips, Stone Pinckney, and Mandy Walsh for their spot-on acting in my atypical little story.

In case you are interested, here is the link to my Showcase submission. It is the hook scene from my play Lucky Penny –> Press Here.  If you are interested in reading the full script, please contact me by email at hollywould.ink@gmail.com.


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Northwestern MFA Showcase

Tonight I have the honor of hearing my work read along side that of my 11 distinguished colleagues in the Northwestern MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage Showcase. We are the graduating class of 2012…

Writer’s Bios

(in alphabetical order)

Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies and Creative Writing. While there, he received the UNCW Blank Slate Productions Best Cinematography and Achievement in Filmmaking awards.  He was also producer/writer/director of The Roaming Reporters, a bimonthly public access show for Student Body Television, and SIDES, a live, weekly sitcom for the stage.  Chris has received numerous honors for his short films including Best Comedy for Off the Wall and Best Film for Mime Unit at the One Take Film Festival, both of which he wrote and directed.  This past summer, he was a development intern at Lionsgate in Los Angeles.

David Crawford

Prior to entering the Writing for Screen + Stage program at Northwestern, David Crawford served as an academic advisor, where he worked with underrepresented student groups He is a recipient of the Regina Taylor: State(s) of America production grant for Cy.cle, a film he wrote, directed and co-produced. David also interned at Syfy in the unscripted department.

Neal Dandade

Neal Dandade has lived in Chicago since 2006. He has trained and performed at the Annoyance, Second City, and iO theaters. He was also a member of Stir Friday Night, Chicago’s Premier Asian American comedy group. He is currently an understudy for the Second City National Touring Company and an MFA candidate in the Writing for Screen and Stage program at Northwestern University. In Summer 2011, Neal was a writing intern at The Daily Show and the Colbert Report as part of Comedy Central’s Summer School Internship.

Erin Hays

Erin Hays holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater studies and psychology from Yale University and is a 2012 MFA Candidate from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen + Stage program. In 2011, her short play, CRUDE, was produced as a part of the Regina Taylor Project at Northwestern, and in 2012, her play, LOST AND FOUND, was a semifinalist at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Allyssa Hynes

Jersey girl Allyssa is the founder of the HynesSight Players, which performs adapted Shakespearean comedies for children. Since Allyssa jumped right into grad school after getting a BA in Psychology and Theatre Studies at Montclair State University, she is frightened of entering the so called “real world.” Allyssa is an aspiring TV writer.

Ethan Kass

Ethan Kass is a Chicago-based playwright and graduate of Northwestern’s MFA Writing for the Screen & Stage program. His play Square Peg, Round Hole was a 2012 semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and his most current work, Fat., will be workshopped at American Theater Company this summer.

Jenni Lamb

Jenni Lamb is an MFA candidate at Northwestern University in Writing for the Screen and Stage. Jenni came to this program after being an actor and improviser in Chicago for over 10 years. In 2006, her play Memento Polonia was “Highly Recommended” by the Chicago Reader. She has had readings of 10-minute plays at Chicago Dramatists, and was a semi-finalist for the 2012 O’Neill Playwrights Conference.

Holly O’Brien

Holly O’Brien holds a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, and is currently an MFA candidate in the MFA Writing for the Screen & Stage program at Northwestern University. This past summer, Holly interned at Chicago Filmmakers where she curated the short film program for Reeling: The 30th Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. Holly plans to release a self-published anthology of her screenplays in January of 2013. To learn more about Holly O’Brien, and read samples of her work please visit hollywouldink.com.

 Dan Ochwat

Dan Ochwat worked as an editor and reporter for 10 years before enrolling in the Writing for Screen & Stage program. “Adrift” is his first stab at a monologue play. He is happily married, despite what
you might think after the play. Dan concentrates on feature-film writing, namely small American stories that range from cyberbullying to cuddling. Dan placed as a quarterfinalist for the Nicholl Fellowship. He has written and directed short films, and appeared in festivals you’ve never heard of. Upon graduation, he plans on forcing his 1-year-old son into modeling.

Milta Ortiz

Milta Ortiz is a playwright with an MFA from Northwestern’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program. Milta’s play, Fleeing Blue won the 2012 Wichita State University Playwriting award and will be produced in their upcoming season. Her play, Last of the Lilac Roses is a 2012 finalist at Repertorio Español’s Nuestra’s Voces play contest. She was a member of American Theater Company’s 2012 Chicago Chronicle playwriting team. She received grants from City of Oakland Cultural Arts and Zellerbach Family Foundation to write and perform original work and co-founded HyPE theater troupe and Las Manas Tres Spoken Word troupe.

Jessy Lauren Smith

Jessy Lauren Smith is a playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced in Chicago, Boston, and Colorado. She has been a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and a finalist for the Heideman Award. Jessy’s other full-length plays include Famished, a dark comedy about hunger strikers, and Robostracized, a children’s musical about a robot who wants to be an ostrich.

Jen Spyra

Jen Spyra is a playwright and screenwriter with a BA in English from Barnard College of Columbia University and an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern. Her humor writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. She was a semifinalist in the 2012 Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s conference for her play Guts, and her comedy pilot Titans was nominated for a 2012 Humanitas Prize. Her original musical comedy Ripper was produced at The Annoyance Theater this past fall and was Reader Recommended and a Timeout Critic’s Pick. She spent the past summer as a Script intern on Conan and returned to work on an offsite Conan production in New York, and will be working on Conan’s upcoming shows in Chicago this June.

 


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Tips for Rewriting Your Screenplay

Does this look familiar?

Congratulations! You're balls deep in the writing process!

So you’ve just finished a draft, or you’re getting near to that anyway, and you’re starting to think about rewrites. Before going back to the beginning and trying to fix every little problem over and over again ad nauseum, here are some tips to help guide you through this next phase in the writing process.

Tip #1

Finish your draft!

Be fearless.

My writing mentor, Fred Strype, used to say, “At some point you need to just cut the shit, and do the thing.” Inspiring stuff, right? I mean, nobody is going to read your script unless it is complete. And nobody wants to read what you, the writer, are dissatisfied with, so why not just allow yourself to write a shitty first draft, take some time off, then come back to it with a fresh perspective?

Tip #2

Stick it in a drawer.

Don't worry if your drawers aren't as cool as these Leman ones.

Putting your work down for a while is essential to the rewriting process, because you need time for your thoughts to marinate, and for your draft to stand a lone as a completed project. That’s the old. You’re focus now is on the new. The what will be. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it, even while the pages are tucked neatly away in a drawer.

Here’s how to think about it while you’re trying not to think about it: if character, structure, and theme are your foundation elements, you should have those in place. That’s awesome. Pat yourself on the back. That done, focus on laying “pipe” (expository information) next. How will you get out the information across in interesting and cinematic ways? Once you lay your pipe you can put up the walls. Those are your individual scenes. Paint and decor is imagery and dialogue.

Tip #3

Put a bow on it.

Treat your screenplay to something pretty.

Once I finish a first draft I make a few extra copies and send them (via snail mail – yes, the old fashioned way) to some of my closest and most trusted friends. These are people who value and respect my work, but still able to see the flaws in it and offer constructive criticism. I try to do this as soon as I finish because it usually takes a while for people, even those who love you, to make time in their busy lives to read your fledgling script.

Waiting and being patient with them is good practice for when you start sending your screenplays out to agents, managers, and production companies. Even if someone says they’ll read it as a favor, don’t expect that favor to happen on your time. That’s okay. Remember, these people aren’t going to fix your screenplay for you. And the only thing you should be concerned with is producing a piece of work that you are proud of and satisfied with.

Tip #4

Work it out.

That's what she said.

Writing should be an Olympic sport for all the stamina, and mental gymnastics it requires. Writers often find themselves hitting the wall somewhere in the rewriting process. One way to avoid this is to know exactly what your doing. Run the route several times in your mind before sitting down to bang it all out.

Here are questions you should have pretty concrete and concise answers to before starting a new draft. This list is borrowed from John Truby, and is the one I use to help sort out general character, structure, and thematic elements. I like it because it mixes Act Structure with Mythological Structure.

Try printing out this page and answering each question as economically as possible. The more you can crystalize your story idea down to it’s very essence, the better off you’ll be when trying to work out the specific cinematic elements that will help you weave all your thoughts and intentions together. I suggest focusing on the questions you have a more difficult time answering, but don’t let those minor road blockages stand in the way of making changes you know need to be made.

REWRITE CHECKLIST

(from John Truby)

The End: self-revelation

What does the hero learn about himself/herself at the end of the story?

What beliefs are challenged during the course of the story?

How is the hero wrong about himself/herself at the beginning?

The Ghost

What is the event in the past still haunting the hero?

The Predicament

What is the difficulty that the hero finds himself/herself in at the beginning of the story?

What are the weaknesses of the hero?

The Need

What is the psychological need of the hero?

What must the hero fulfill to have a better life?

The Inciting Event

What event from the outside forces the hero to take action?

The Desire

What particular goal does the hero have in the story?

What motivates the hero?

What are the stakes?

What values are at stake?

The Ally (-ies)

Who is helping the hero reach his/her goal?

How is the ally helping the hero overcome the opponent?

Is there a false ally working “under cover” for the opponent?

The Opponent

How is the opponent blocking the hero from reaching his/her goal?

Does the opponent want the same thing as the hero?

How does the opponent attack the greatest weakness of the hero?

What values come in conflict between the opponent and the hero?

The First Revelation

What information forces the hero to decide on a new course of action?

What adjustments of desire and motivation are involved?

The Plan

What is the set of guidelines that the hero will use to reach the goal?

How and why does the plan go wrong?

How is the plan altered during the course of the story?

The Opponent’s Plan

What plan will the opponent use to prevent the hero to reach his/her own goal?

What is the main counter-attack?

How and why does the plan go wrong?

How is the plan altered during the course of the story?

The Drive

What are the specific actions that the hero takes to defeat the opponent?

How do the actions of the hero change when the conflict intensifies?

Does the hero take immoral action to defeat the opponent?

Does the ally attack the hero on the issue of “immoral action”?

The Apparent Defeat

Is there a moment when the hero feels he/she has lost to the opponent?

In what way is that a devastating experience to the hero?

How does the second revelation prevent the hero from giving up the goal?

The Second Revelation

What information restores belief that the goal can still be reached?

What decision does the hero take because of that new information?

In what way does the hero become obsessed to reach the goal?

Does this obsession mean a continued moral decline?

How does the motivation change?

The Audience Rvelation

Does the audience learn something that the hero is unaware of?

Is there an “ally” working for the opposition?

The Third Revelation

What important information makes the hero equipped for the final battle?

What decision does the hero make because of that new information?

Why is this a “point of no return.”

“Visit to Death”

How does a feeling of morality motivate the hero to enter the final battle?

How is the pressure on the hero reaching its peak?

The Battle

What values are the conflicting characters representing and fighting about?

In what ways are the opposing characters similar?

In what ways are they different?

The Self-revelation

How does the life-shattering experience of the battle change the hero?

What does the hero learn about the world?

What does the hero learn about himself/herself?

What does the hero learn about what it is to be human?

What does the hero learn about how to behave towards others?

What does the hero learn about how to live “the rest of his/her life”?

Happy rewriting!