Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Michael Hauge Notes - Part Two

Outer Journey

*Plot Structure - events of a story and their position in relation to each other - the sequence of events that illicits maximum emotion.

-Proper structure means the right thing happens at the right time.

Stage One - The Setup
- approximately the first 10%
- Introduce hero and show them living every day life (big moment has not yet occured)

1st Turning Point - The Opportunity
- this takes your hero into stage two and the new experience.
- creates the preliminary desire, just enough to take hero into new situation
- often creates a change in geography

Stage Two - The New Situation

2nd Turning Point - Change of Plans
- something happens to turn story in a new direction - here and only here, the hero's goal becomes evident (goal is established)
- in a romantic comedy, hero often has two goals, the second of which is always to win love
- in a love story, this is the point where the audience wants the hero to fall in love

Stage Three - Progress
-Hero has goal and decides on a plan

3rd Turning Point - Point of No Return
- Hero burns bridges
- in a love story, often the point of love making
- declaration of love, desire is spoken outloud
- outside world starts closing in
- obstacles come from outside goal

Stage Four - Complications and Higher Stakes
- Now if hero loses, they lose much more
- lose destiny

4th Turning Point - Major Setback
- Something must happen to make goal seem unachievable
- In a love story, hero/heroine break up or are torn apart
- "All is lost"

Stage Five - The Final Push
- Hero wants to go back to the way things were, but can't

5th Turning Point - Climax
- Hero must give everything
- Peak emotional moment
- Point which clearly resolves physical goal

Stage Six - Aftermath
- New life the hero will live having completed the journey
- Transformed existence

That's it for today. I know this probably won't make as much sense as if you heard it being explained, but there's a lot of good stuff here that makes sense when you look at it in comparision to a movie like Shrek (which Michael uses as an example quite frequently.) More tomorrow!


  1. It is actually quite the essence of a lot of books dealing with the same thematic boiled down to the basics. I understood most and it is very helpful. Thank you.

  2. No, it does make sense. It's all about the structure... thanks Kristen!

  3. It makes sense to me, and thanks for doing this, Kristen. It's really helpful.

  4. You have to love a man that uses Shrek for examples.