by Damar Anzig
Question: "each signpost is an event that may be subdivided into three or four smaller events, becoming thus a sequence itself. Each signpost can have its own ...
Scene 1: Inciting event
Scene 2: Complication
Scene 3: Conflict
Scene 4: Resolution
Turning your 16 signposts into sequences will give you 48-64 events or scenes"
How can "Overall Signpost #1: The inciting incident" have Inciting Event, Complication, Conflict, and Resolution? Pls. explain with adequate illustrations.Answer:
Let's take Star Wars: Episode 1, A New Hope
as an example.
The first signpost of the overall story is "Delivering the stolen plans to Obi wan Kenobi."
This signpost is the Setup of the overall story, but it is subdivided into its own four-stage arc:
1. Inciting event (or Setup): R2D2 escapes Princess Leia's ship with the stolen plans and a message for Obi wan.
2. Complication: R2D2 is captured and sold to a farmer who plans to erase his memory (including the plans).
3. Conflict or Crisis: R2D2 escapes and tries to reach Obi wan, but is intercepted by Luke and C3PO and the party is attacked by Sand People. During the attack Obi wan shows up and drives off the Sand People.
4. Resolution: R2D2 can finally deliver his message to Obi wan.
In fact, we could go a step further. If
we take the first stage of this sequence, "R2D2 escapes Princess Leia's ship with the stolen plans and a message for Obi wan," we can see that it too is divided into a sequence:
1.1: Setup: Imperial troops board Leia's ship in search of the stolen plans.
1.2: Complication: Leia secretly entrusts the stolen plans to R2D2 and orders him to take an escape pod and find Obi wan.
1.3: Crisis: Imperial troops capture Leia, but cannot find the stolen plans, nor can their scanners detect R2D2 aboard the escape pod.
1.4: Resolution: R2D2 arrives safely on Tatooine with his friend C3PO.
Now could you have presented the overall story signpost #1 in one scene? Sure. You could have simply shown Obi wan sitting at home one night. He answers a knock at the door and finds R2D2 there, who delivers the Princess's message. And if you were writing a half-hour screenplay, that might be what you do.
The point is that you can expand or contract the length of your story without padding or leaving any important steps out.
You can turn single events into sequences, or sequences into single events, depending on the length of work you are writing and the story you want to tell. Every event will still be an integral part of a dramatic arc.