Attack The Block – Deconstructed

Attack the Block (2011) R | 1h 28min Director:Joe Cornish   Writer:Joe Cornish   Stars:John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail “Attack the Block”. John Boyega’s first movie. You may know him now as Finn – FN-2187 — in that little indie flick “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. I understand he’ll also be in the sequel, “Star Wars: The Force […]

Saving the Cat

There’s this trope suggested by Blake Snyder in his book called (not surprisingly) “Save the Cat” that suggests a scene early in your story (screenplay, novel, whatever) that puts your hero in a situation that makes him look good. And not just makes him look good, but actually demonstrates the hero’s “goodness”. It’s a shortcut. In […]

Story Structure – Resolution

How do you end it? The story, I mean. I know the world is a pretty messed up place, right now, but it’s ending the story I’m talking about. Relax. It’s all a big circle. As you arc through Acts One, Two and Three, it’s good to end back where you started, a resolution that […]

The Second Plot Point – The Home Stretch

The transition between the end of Act Two and the beginning of Act Three is the Second Plot Point. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s a little bit of story that is still needed before we wade into Act Three. Act Two will be tailing off by now, and our hero is in the […]

Pinch Points – #BreakingBad

There are two points in your story that should be subtle reminders of 1) the size of the threat the hero has to face and 2) the lengths/depths/heights the hero will go to win. These are, respectively, the first and second Pinch Point. Structurally they are located roughly midway between the First Plot Point and […]

The Heart of the Story

Structure is but a small thing. A little bit of concentration and you can sort that shit out in about twenty minutes. Make sure you hit the plot points and the pinch points and you’ve “nailed” structure. Structure is knowing that a sound basement goes on the bottom, a waterproof roof sits on top and […]

Your Midpoint

Linearity bores readers. Inexorable drive to a conclusion is good, but readers want twists and turns. And I strongly recommend creating as many hurdles for your hero to overcome as (internally) logically possible. But take a moment and think about your poor reader, waist-deep in your book, absolutely certain they know where you, the writer, is […]

The First Plot Point

This is, without a doubt, the most important scene in your story. This scene needs to take your protagonist out of their status quo and commit them to the rest of the story arc. Without this scene, you have no story. A brief word on semantics. Some call this the inciting incident. Some call it […]