Storyboards and Sounding Boards

Storyboards and Sounding
Group plotting Hollywood Style
I’m not a published writer, and I don’t
even get to play one on TV. What I have
put together is a framework for plotting
based on McKee’s Story and my
experiences in Kennesaw State’s
screenwriting class with Jeffery Stepakoff
sprinkled with a few juicy nuggets from
Goals, Motivation, & Conflict, and Break into
Second disclaimer:
Tonight we’re talking about plot, but good
plots are inextricably related to character.
The best plots are made better with tons
of character development on the front
Structure for the A.R.
Beat = “an exchange
of behavior in
 Scene = 3-6 beats
 Act = 12 scenes
 Novel/movie = 3-5
Elements of a good story
Inciting incident—it
must “radically upset
the balance of forces
in the protagonist’s
life” (McKee)
Related to GMC
because your
characters will have
goals that propel them
through the story and
determine their
actions especially from
this point forward.
“A story must mot
retreat to actions of
lesser quality or
magnitude, but move
progressively forward to
a final action beyond
which the audience
cannot imagine another.”
Turning points-related to
the Twist Points in Break
into Fiction
Crisis (where the
character must make
a decision)
 Climax—result of
the crisis, should
involve a reversal
 Resolution
Ways to Look at story. . .
McKee’s example of the value changes
associated with a story that has a happy
ending. See also his “gaps.”
An abbreviated Example. . .
Finding Nemo
Inciting Incident: Nemo gets snatched by the dentist
Marlin’s goal: to find Nemo
Progressive complications: Dory can’t remember, the not-so
vegetarian shark, the fish who chases them in dark, directions
from the flashy fish, the jellyfish, the whale, the gulls, Darla’s
impending arrival (intersection of plot/subplot)
Crisis/Climax: Nemo and Marlin are reunited but Dory is
caught in the net. Marlin has a decision: keep Nemo safe or
believe in him and let him enter the net. His decision
culminates in what appears to be Nemo’s death.
Resolution: In the last scene Marlin shoves Nemo out the door
to school and tells jokes to the other dads successfully.
Nemo then rushes back to give him a hug
Your turn. . .
Find a partner and construct a story.
Remember that you should have more
ideas than you will use, and that this is a
way to work out the kinks of a story
before you start to write.
 Beat = behavior with an action/reaction
 Scene = 3-6 beats
 Act = 12 scenes
 Novel/movie = 3-5 acts
New Books for you to Buy
Story by Robert McKee
 Break into Fiction by Mary Buckham and
Dianna Love
 Goals, Motivation, Conflict by Deb Dixon
 The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and
Heroines by Cowden, LaFever,Viders
 Time to Write and Think to Write by Kelly L.

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