Saying goodbye to the Ordinary World. Bring on the Special World.
What is the Special World? It’s the world of the challenge. The unfamiliar. The alien. The world where the heart of the journey takes place. Our Hero commits to an adventure, and the Special World is the arena for that adventure, with new rules, new companions, new lessons to be learned. It is where the growth takes place, where our Hero works out the changes that he’s undergoing. The Special World is the new landscape that our Hero must muddle through and master.
Crossing the First Threshold
- Threshold to the Special World, or Act II
- Crossing Threshold = Plot Point or Turning Point
- Could be a quick moment or longer scene
- Crossing over is a pure act of will – wholeheartedly committing to the Adventure
- Stakes suddenly higher
- No turning back!
- Threshold Guardians, able to appear anywhere, tend to cluster around doorways, gates, and narrow passages of threshold crossings
- Some must be ignored or pushed through
- Some must be absorbed or their hostile energy must be reflected back at them
- Some just need to be acknowledged or recognized
- Crossings should be noticed as a shift in energy
- Possibly an actual crossing – river, gorge, ocean, door, bridge, etc.
- Possibly a mood change or visual contrast
- Single moment or extended passage – doorway vs. ocean – either are acceptable
- Leap of faith needed (courage) – Irrevocable act!
- Adventure begins in earnest
- Story is like an airplane in flight
- Act I is process of loading, fueling, taxiing and rumbling down runway
- First Threshold is the moment the wheels leave the ground
- It may take a while to adjust to being in the air, but we’re there!
It’s time to really get rolling now. We’ve left the point of no return in our wakes, and our Hero has set a course for adventure. Excitement ahead!
A printable version, for your reference, can be found here: Stage 5: Crossing the First Threshold
To view a chronological listing of the posts in this series, continue below:
- Structure Series #1: First Things First, or Donald Maass Strikes Again (6/8/2015)
- Structure Series #2: Plotting for the Pantser (6/11/2015)
- Structure Series #3: To Begin… a Story Engineering overview (6/18/2015)
- Structure Series #4: Part One (6/24/2015)
- Structure Series #5: First Plot Point (7/1/2015)
- Structure Series #6: Part Two (and Pinch Point One) (7/5/2015)
- Structure Series #7: Midpoint (7/10/2015)
- Story Structure #8: Part Three (and Pinch Point Two) (7/15/2015)
- Story Structure #9: Second Plot Point (7/21/2015)
- Story Structure #10: Part Four (7/27/2015)
- Story Structure #11: Story Engineering Wrap-Up (8/16/2015)
- Story Structure #12: Introducing The Writer’s Journey (8/19/2015)
- Story Structure #13: The Writer’s Journey: The Archetypes and the Map (8/20/2015)
- Story Structure #14: Act I, Stage 1: The Ordinary World (8/21/2015)
- Story Structure #15: Act I, Stage 2: The Call to Adventure (8/22/2015)
- Story Structure #16: Act I, Stage 3: Refusal of the Call (8/23/2015)
- Story Structure #17: Act I, Stage 4: Meeting with the Mentor (8/24/2015)
- Story Structure #18: Act I, Stage 5: Crossing the First Threshold (8/25/2015)
- Story Structure #19: Act II, Stage 6: Tests, Allies, and Enemies (8/26/2015)
- Story Structure #20: Act II, Stage 7: Approach to the Inmost Cave (8/27/2015)
- Story Structure #21: Act II, Stage 8: The Ordeal (8/28/2015)
- Story Structure #22: Act II, Stage 9: Seizing the Reward (8/29/2015)
- Story Structure #23: Act III, Stage 10: The Road Back (8/30/2015)
- Story Structure #24: Act III, Stage 11: The Resurrection (8/31/2015)
- Story Structure #25: Act III, Stage 12: Return with the Elixer (9/1/2015)
- Story Structure #26: Wrap-Up (9/2/2015)