Again, it’s tempting to overmotivate the hero in this section. Beware of the tendency to prop up a flagging story by tacking on additional motivation, such as revealing that the villain also killed the hero’s family years ago. If you want to strengthen your hero’s motivation, then simplify it instead of multiplying it.
- This is frequently where the “double-chase” begins: The hero is both hunter and hunted now. The heroes of Some Like It Hot and Blue Velvet discover that the bad guys now know who and where they are, and they’re coming for them.
- This is where the ticking clock sometimes comes in, as in both Alien and Aliens.
- Or where a family member is threatened: The baby is kidnapped in Raising Arizona and Mary Jane is kidnapped in Spider-Man.
- This is sometimes where events happen that force a decision, such as David’s marriage proposal in An Education.
The 40 Year Old Virgin
To a certain extent. The third quarter is a little limp, ironically enough.
YES, they realize they have to blow up the ship.
YES. He proposes marriage.
YES. Stakes are now life or death, etc.
YES. there are car chases and his world is invaded.
The Bourne Identity
YES. he’s in love now, and realizes that he must find Conklin and “end it” to protect her.
NO. Not at this point. The wedding is approaching but she’s not going so it doesn’t matter. It’s only when finds out Lillian needs her and there’s only a day left that this kicks in.
YES. Lazlo is told he can no longer stay in Casablanca.
YES, the cops are closing in on both Jake and Evelyn, he’s falling in love with her, etc.
YES. he almost gets made, gets caught up in a mob war, loses family
Do the Right Thing
YES. Very much so.
Sort of. She confronts her uncle, convinced he’s the ringleader.
YES. he starts winning fights.
YES. she’s now dying, the winter is getting worse, Elsa might be killed, etc.
YES. Very much so.
YES. both for him and also for Rod, who now becomes our second hero.
YES. He realizes that he only has one day (over and over) to save the old man’s life.
How to Train Your Dragon
YES. His father goes off to the nest.
In a Lonely Place
YES. His marriage proposal creates a crisis.
YES. She has to race to Julie before prom ends, sort of.
YES. His new army increasingly demands action. Johnson increasingly demands he stand down.
YES. Jack cuts off contact with outside world, Wendy knocks him out.
YES. He and Maya have sex, possibly fall in love…
The Silence of the Lambs
YES. They’re running out of time, in danger of being fired.
YES. It becomes very thrilling, cross-cutting between four groups in danger.
Somewhat. Artie proposes marriage to Betty. Norma catches him.
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