26 February 2014

What Happens after the Crisis and Before the Protagonist Ends the True End of the Story?

The drop in the energy of a Universal Story is symbolized on the Plot Planner by the downward line after the Crisis. This entire downward line can be viewed as the threshold separating the middle of the story from the end. Literally, a threshold is a doorsill or the starting point of an experience.

On the Plot Planner and in the Universal Story, this threshold encompasses the integration of and preparatory time needed after the crisis and before the actual crossing over into the final quarter of the story. The length of the line as the energy contracts depends on your story. In high-action stories, the drop in intensity may occur over one short scene. At its core, this time of regrouping takes place on a purely cognitive level. Though the protagonist may assemble the resources she plans to take forward with her, until she takes her first step toward her final goal she remains in the middle of the story and, as yet, has not entered the final one-quarter of the story.

This is a time, whether brief of for several scenes, of rest for the protagonist and recovery after the Crisis. It's a time of recollection, integrations, assessment and review. Before blindly reacting as always, finally now, she takes time to re-evaluate, re-invent, re-form, and redo things. She's unsteady after all that has befallen her. She makes mistakes, misjudgments and misreading as she reflects and prepares for the final ascent to the Climax.

The drop in energy allows for the reader and audience to rebuild anticipation and expectation for what will happen when the protagonist ultimately leaves the middle of the story and sets out for the climax at the end of the story.

As the protagonist considers the thoughts that have held her captive, she can mourn what was. But rather than hold onto those same old beliefs and continue to retard her progress, now she is free to reshape her life by speaking and acting in her own truth. Once she develops a new belief system, a shift occurs in her life. Having wakened to her potential, she is finally clear to seize that which she most longs for. And… the End begins. (Excerpt taken from The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master.)
For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.