By: Stavros Halvatzis
Blake Snyder’s (Save the Cat) beat-sheet of 15 dramatic units that define the entire story offers perhaps the most potent and clear advise on structuring your tale. So, far be it for me to try and modify it. I do, however, want to expand upon Mr. Snyder’s 13th and 14th beats, The Dark night of the Soul, and Finale, since I believe they may allow for a possible weakness in the verisimilitude of the story, if not properly used.
These beats follow in the wake of several others, immediately before, which show the hero at his lowest ebb. They concern the moment when, despite the hero being down and out, both physically and spiritually, his goal in tatters, he finds the strength to try again. It is the most vulnerable point of Hollywood’s ‘up endings’ — the moment when the story, which cannot allow the protagonist to fail, ushers in an event that turns the tables on the antagonist.
How do we prevent this event, this new twist, from appearing trite and forced? How do we avoid our beats being labeled ‘a typically predictable Hollywood moment?’
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