1. DEN VANLIGA
2. ROPET PÅ ÄVENTYR
3. VÄGRAN ATT DELTA I ÄVENTYRET
4. MÖTET MED EN MENTOR
5. FÖRSTA TRÖSKELN
6. PRÖVNINGAR, VÄNNER OCH FIENDER
7. INGÅNGEN TILL DEN INNERSTA GROTTAN
8. DEN STÖRSTA UTMANINGEN
10. VÄGEN TILLBAKA
12. KOMMA TILLBAKA MED ELIXIRET
VÄKTARE VID TRÖSKLARNA
STEG ÅTTA: DEN STORA UTMANINGEN
"JAMES BOND: What do you expect me to do, Goldfinger.
GOLDFINGER: Why Mr Bond, I expect you to die".
(from Goldfinger, screenplay Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn)
Nu befinner sig huvudpersonen i den innersta kammaren hos fienden och ska möta det största hotet, möta den stora utmaningen. Detta är hjärtat i berättelsen, de stora kamp som mytforskaren Joseph Campbell kallar "the supreme ordeal". Detta steg är hjältesagans centrum och nyckeln till berättelsens magiska inverkan på oss genom tiderna tillbaka till lägereldarnas muntliga berättande.
DÖD OCH ÅTERFÖDELSE
Den enkla principen för äventyrets stora utmaning är följande: Hjälten måste dö för att återfödas.
Det handlar om det stora offret.Den dramatiska höjdpunkt som publiken genom tiderna njutit starkast av är död och återfödelse.På sätt och vis har varje berättelse värd namnet detta steg. Alla hjältar möter sin död och återfödelse på något sätt - sin stora rädsla, sitt stora misslyckande, sin stora skilsmässa, sin död genom att en del av livet är borta och en ny del börjar, eller sin död genom att allt är förlorat på jorden och ett nytt liv börjar i nästa dimension, himmelriket.
För det mesta överlever hjältinnorna och hjältarna den stora utmaningen och kan skörda effekterna av att ha undsluppit döden. De har klarat det största av alla prov och visat sig vara berättelsen hjälte, det vi hela tiden misstänkt.
Fråga: Vilken död och uppståndelse får din huvudperson vara med om?
Spielberg's E. T. dies before our eyes but is reborn through alien magic and a boys love. Sir Lancelot, remorseful over having killed a gallant knight, prays him back to life. Clint Eastwood's character in Unforgiven is beaten senseless by a sadistic sheriff and hovers at the edge of death, thinking he's seeing angels. Sherlock Holmes, apparently killed with Professor Moriarity in the plunge over Reichenbach Falls, defies death and returns transformed and ready for more adventures. Patrick Swayze's character, murdered in Ghost, learns how to cross back through the veil to protect his wife and finally express his true love for her.
Heroes don't just visit death and come home. They return changed, transformed. No one can go through an experience at the edge of death without being changed in some way. In the center of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere survives a death-and-rebirth ordeal of the ego at the hands of drill instructor Lou Gossett. It dramatically changes Gere's character, making him more sensitive to the needs of others and more conscious that he's part of a group.
Q: How does your hero undergo an important change?
Axel Foley, with a villains gun to his head in Beverly Hill Cap, seems sure to die, but is rescued by the bumbling, naive white detective Rosewood (judge Reinhold). After this rescue from death Foley is more cooperative and willing to submerge his gigantic ego in the group.
THE CRISIS, NOT THE CLIMAX
The Supreme Ordeal is a major nerve ganglion of the story. Many threads of the heros history lead in, and many threads of possibility and change lead out the other side. It should not be confused with
the climax of the Hero'sjourney - thats another nerve center further down near the end of the story (like the brain at the base of a dinosaur's tail).
The Ordeal is usually the central event of the story, or the main event of the second act. Let's call it the crisis to differentiate it from the climax (the big moment of Act Three and the crowning event of the whole story).
A crisis is defined by Webster's as "the point in a story or drama at which hostile forces are in the tensest state of opposition".
Q: Can you identify the point of crisis in the story you work with? Where is the story at its most tense state?
We also speak of a crisis in an illness; a point, perhaps a high spike of fever, after which the patient cither gets worse or begins to recover. The message: Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. A Supreme Ordeal crisis, however frightening to the hero, is sornetimes the only way to recovery or victory.
PLACEMENT OF THE ORDEAL
The placement of the crisis or Supreme Ordeal depends on the needs of the story and the tastes of the storyteller. The most common pattern is for the death-and-rebirth moment to come near the middle.
Q: Where is the highest point of crisis placed in your story?
Whether the crisis is at the center of the story or nearer the end of Act Two, its safe to say every story needs a crisis moment that conveys the Supreme Ordeal's sense of death and revival.
POINTS OF TENSION
Act Two is a long stretch for the writer and the audience, up to an hour in an average feature fihn. You can look at the threc-act structure as a dramatic line stretched across two major points of tension, the act breaks. Like a circus tent hanging on its poles, structure is subject to gravity - the waning of the audience's attention in the time between these peaks of tension. A story that has no central moment of tension may sag like a circus tent that needs an extra support pole in the middie. Act Two is an hour-long chunk of your movie, or a hundred pages of your novel. It needs some kind of structure to hold it in tension.
Q: Is your story sagging, or does it have a dramatic point of critical tension?
The crisis at the halfway point is a watershed, a continental divide in the herosjourney, that acknowledges the traveler has reached the middie of the trip.journeys naturally arrange themselves around a central event: getting to the top of the mountain, the depth of the cave, the heart of the forest, the most intimate interior of a foreign country, or the most secret place in your own soul. Everything in the trip has been leading up to this moment, and everything arter it will be just going home.
Q: Can you identify this point of crisis in your story?
There may be even greater adventures to come - the final moments of a trip may be the most exciting or memorable - but every journey seems to have a center; a bottom or a peak, somewhere near the middle.
The words crisis, critic, and critical come from a Greck word that means "to separate". A crisis is an event that separates the two halves of the story. After crossing this zone, which is often the borderland of death, the hero is literally or metaphorically reborn and nothing will ever be the same.
HERO APPEARS TO DIE
The long second act of Star Wars is kept from sagging by a central crisis section in which the borders of death are thoroughly explored in not one, but a serics of ordeals. At another point in the giant trash compactor sequence, Luke is pulled under the sewage by the tentacle of an unscen monster. It was this scene that really made me understand the mechanism of the Supreme Ordeal.
Q: Is your hero apparently dying at some point in the story?
First, the audience and the witnesses at hand (Han Solo, Princess Leia, the Wookie) see a few bubbles come up, a sign that Luke is still struggling, alive, and breathing. So far, so good. But then the bubbles stop coming. The witnesses begin reacting as if he were dead. In a few seconds you begin to wonder if he's ever coming up. You know George Lucas is not going to kill off his hero halfway through the film and yet you begin to entertain the possibility
I remember seeing a preview screening of Star Wars on the Fox lot and being completely taken in by the critical few seconds of this scene. I had invested something of myself in Luke Skywalker and when he appeared to be dead, I instantly became a disembodied presence in the screen. I began flitting from surviving character to character, wondering who I could identify with next. Woudn't I ride through the rest of the story as the spoiled Princess Leia, the selfish opportunist Han Solo, or the beastly Wookie? I didn't feel comfortable in any of their skins. In these few seconds I experienced something like panic.
The hero, for me, was truly in the belly of the whale, inaccessible, effectively dead. With the hero dead, who was I in this movie? What was my point of view? My emotions, like the basketball held under water, were depressed. Just then Luke Skywalker explodes to the surface, slimy but alive. He has died to our eyes, but now he lives again, rebirthed by the companions who help him to his feet. At once the audience feels elated.
The emotions ride higher for having been brought down so far.
Q: Is anything similar happening in your story?
FACING THE SHADOW
The most common kind of Supreme Ordeal is some sort of or confrontation with an opposing force. It could be a deadly villain, antagonist, opponent, or even a force of nature. An idea that comes close to encompassing all these possibilities is the archetype of the Shadow. A villain may be an external character, but in a deeper sense what all these words stand for is the negative possibilities of the hero himself. In other words, the heros greatest opponent is his own Shadow.
Q: What shadows are your hero dealing with?
As with all the archetypes, there are negative and positive manifestations of the Shadow. A dark side is needed sometimes to polarize a hero or a system, to give the hero some resistance to push against. Resistance can be your greatest source of strength. Ironically, what seem to be villains fighting for our death may turn out to be forces ultimately working for our good.
Generally the Shadow represents the herds fears and unlikcable, rejected qualities; all the things we don't like about ourselves and try to project onto other people. This form of projektion is called demonizing. People in emotional crisis will sometimes project all their problems in a certain area onto another person or group who become the symbol of everything they hate and fear in themselves.
Q: What demons are your hero fighting? Are they interal or external in the story?
War and propaganda, the enemy becomes an inhuman devil, the dark Shadow of the righteous, angelic image we are trying to maintain for ourselves. The Devil himself is perhaps God's shadow, a projektion of all the negative and rejected potential of the Supreme Being.
DEATH OF A VILLAIN
Sometimes the hero comes close to death at the Supreme Ordeal, but it is the villain who dies. However, the hero may have other forces, other Shadows, to deal with before the adventure is over. The action may move from the physical arena to a moral, spiritual, or emotional plane.
Q: Does the enemy die at this stage of the story?
THE VILLAIN ESCAPES
The hero may wound the villain at the Supreme Ordeal or kill the villaids underling. The chief villain escapes to be confronted once again in Act Threc. Axel Foley has a death-and-rebirth confrontation with the criminal mastermind's lieutenants in Act Two of Beverly Hills Cop, but the final showdown with the main Shadow is held back for Act Three.
VILLAINS ARE HEROES OF THEIR OWN STORIES
Keep in mind that while some villains or Shadows exult in being bad, many don't think of themselves as evil at all. In their own minds they are right, the heroes of their own stories.
Q: Is this the case in the story you work with?
9. REWARD (SEIZING THE SWORD)
10. THE ROAD BACK
12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR