of Story Structure
(Developed by Val Edward Simone)
“A Minute of Forever”
An Original Screenplay
By Val Edward Simone
© 2014 by Val Edward Simone
All Rights Reserved.
A single sentence briefly describing the main
purpose, theme, or action of the story. If the
premise cannot be confined to one sentence, then the
premise has not been properly considered. (Note: You
are not after detail here. You're after the
MAIN THRUST of the story. Think TV listing
~ Premise - A young, self-absorbed teen
struggles with guilt after narrowly
escaping death in a car accident which
claimed the life of her very best
Faults of the Main Character –
The faults exhibited by the main character, that is,
their internal failings, their short-comings, their
inabilities, their weaknesses, often cause them
difficulties at the beginning of the story.
These issues tend to overwhelm the main character to
the point where a conflict is inevitably generated.
It usually starts quickly and tends to run through
the story up to the resolution phase. These faults
or weaknesses further tend to be most threatening to
the main character and might even determine his or her survival and
victory over the conflict, or send them to death and
a crushing defeat.
~ Faults – Ashley holds guilt for
B) Internal Needs of the
Main Character –
The internal needs of the main character compels the main character
through the story toward the resolution. That which
must be conquered, resolved, and/or satisfied or the
main character will fail and perhaps might
perish from it if not realized.
~ Internal Need – Ashley needs to be forgiven for
Desire of the Main Character –
This really is the backbone of the story. The underlying
element (Desperate Desire) which drives the hero
forward toward resolving the conflict. Please note
that the “desire,” the “want” differs much from the
"Internal Need" of the Main Character above.
~ Desperate Desire – Ashley wants to live in the
fullness of her planned life. And bring
to justice the drunk driver who actually
caused the accident, but refuses to take
responsibility for his actions.
The Opposing Force –
The Opposing Force can be a character or characters, or happenings, or
circumstances, which will inject opposition against the
of the main character. Such opposition might even wish to destroy
the main character through the main character’s own
“internal faults” and “internal needs” for reasons of its “own
desire.” Typically, the antagonist, which could be a
character, event or circumstance, attempts to force
its will upon the Main Character and will try to
prevent the Main Character from achieving victory.
~ The Opposing Force – The drunk driver, BILL
JENKINS, who caused the accident by
swerving into Paige’s lane, causing her
to lose control of her car and crashing
it. He refuses to take responsibility
for the crash and even goes so far as to
threaten Ashley’s life if she “doesn’t
forget about it and let it go.”
The Battle Plan of Action –
This is the considered plan of battle that must take
protagonist must implement such a plan or be
destroyed. In other words, the Main Character must
devise a plan or strategy to defeat the efforts of
the Opposing Force and bring about the conclusion to the
story, the resolution of the Big Conflict.
~ Battle Plan of Action – Ashley devises a plan
of action to get the drunk to admit his
guilt which she will record and turn
over to the police.
The Big Conflict –
This where the actual battle plan is implemented as
the pressure rises to fever pitch,
or boils over into a deadly crisis. It is the actual
"fight" or action which
brings about the greatest peril to the Main
action that will result in the Main Character's defeat
~ The Big Conflict – Ashley confronts
the drunk who caused the accident which
killed her best friend. Ashley lays it
all on the line, her guilt, her life,
her loyalty, the lives of her family.
She jeopardizes it all to win some
justice, to discover her true purpose.
Light of Self-Discovery –
is where the Main Character finally realizes that what
he or she really wanted is much different from what he or
she originally thought he or she wanted. It is a solemn
revelation or discovery that the truth of what is
really wanted is not what is truly “needed” to
resolve the conflict within the bosom of the Main
Character. Something that reader might feel as well.
The true point or Great Truth of what the author
intends to impart to the reader.
~ Light of Self-Discovery – Ashley discovers that
sometimes we don’t get all the answers
we seek straight away, but that God will
balance the scales of justice sooner or
later and that all accounts will be
justly reconciled in the end.
New Knowledge or Understanding –
With the new knowledge or understanding, the world
changes for the protagonist. He or she sees the new
world through new eyes, or new awareness. The
resolution is realized.
~ New Knowledge or Understanding –
Ashley realizes that God never cheated
her out of her life after all. She can
die knowing that God has a true design
for each of us and that He gave her true
purpose and worth.
A New Beginning
The Main Character
moves into or gains a New Beginning, a new "lease"
on life, discovers a new path. The reader is left
believing that the Main Character is off to new
destinies, new places, new dreams, and new
experiences much improved from where the Main
Character came from at the start of the story. It
might even resonate with the reader to mean that all
things are possible for them as well.
~ New Beginning –
Ashley can move on into her next life
knowing that all will be well for her
and those that she has left behind. She
knows that her next life will be
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