Section 08 – Main Set Back

Section 08

Main Set  Back


Story Creation Step 8 completes roughly the middle of the story (what some refer to as ‘Development’). It is both the personal-crisis moment for the Hero and the point of near-triumph for the Antagonist.

Since the Antagonist has gained an overwhelming advantage over the Hero in his/her ongoing ‘tests’ in Steps 6 and 7, the Hero is now facing the darkest time and suffers either a serious reversal of fortune or a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. It is, in short, the personal-crisis moment for the Hero. (At the end of the story, of course, there is also a crisis, but generally that will be a plot crisis – the final resolution, as it were, of the elements that have been building all along – not a personal crisis.)
Up to this point there have been many conflicts – that is what makes for a good story. However, in all those instances, the Hero, along with the reader, has a sense of optimism. Despite all the difficulties faced by the Hero, the Hero hasn’t given up, or even pretended to give up … until now.

With the Hero in danger of being overcome by the Antagonist, Step 8 is the Step at which we’ll get to know the Antagonist personally. Interwoven throughout this Step is the presence of the Antagonist and the Antagonist’s Adult World.

* In The Go-Between, Leo refuses to take Marian’s note to Ted, and she shouts at him. Leo is devastated by her attack, writing a letter to his mother to say he wants to go home. He feels trapped in the lovers’ secret world and wants nothing more to do with it, but knows he cannot escape it.
* Harry Potter, following a face to face encounter with the evil Voldemort, passes out and wakes up to find himself in the school’s hospital wing.

The scenes in this Step should take up about 12 percent of your story.

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