Kalture Film Academy

Kalture Film Academy

Kalture film academy - Nzeflix is a film production initiative based in Kampala, Uganda.


*How to Identify the Deeper Dimensions of a Main character.

This is where a little forethought and planning will help you create a multi-dimensional MC. When you try to create a character by the “pants” approach, the end result will be hit or miss.

If you’re an incredibly intuitive person, pantsing it may work for you, but most of us need to plot a character’s dimensions to show real depth. Let’s face it. Real life is three-dimensional. If we could predict how people will respond to situations, it would be so much easier to figure out how to ask the difficult questions.

Life is messy. Emotions are messy. Real life unfolds and unravels rather unpredictably. So should your characters. Consider the following three dimensions of character development:

•The 1st Dimension
This is what we see on the outside. These are the surface traits, the little personality quirks and habits that characters have. This may be the real person or it may just be their social mask that they present to the world. Without any other dimensions, we’ll never know how authentic it is. The supporting cast in our stories are one-dimensional. We don’t need to know what’s behind their façade. It’s not important to know what kind of childhood the waiter at the restaurant had. But you do need to know that about your MC. That’s where weaving in the other dimensions helps flesh out your characters.

One thing to note: avoid cliché quirks and tics for your main characters, and even in your supporting characters. The grumpy old man who screams at the kids to get off his lawn or the two-faced politician who preaches family values to the public yet has a mistress or two on the side—all of these traits have been done to boredom and back. You definitely do not want to give your MC quirks that are tired or even too quirky.

•The 2nd Dimension
This is when backstory comes into play. What is it about your MC’s childhood that causes her to freeze up whenever someone gets too close? What are her inner conflicts or unfulfilled dreams that cause her to respond in certain ways? Everyone has fears and weaknesses, resentments and inclinations that underlay the outer face they show the world. Sometimes that’s a smokescreen to throw the reader off the path. When readers understand why an MC reacts the way he or she does, you’ve created empathy for that character. And the more empathy you can create for a character, the more readers will invest in reading.

•The 3rd Dimension
Or the character’s beliefs that lead to action and behavior. This is their moral substance. An MC’s character isn’t defined by their backstory or their inner conflict, but rather by the decisions they make when facing a moral situation. You may have been angry enough to smack someone in the face a time or two, but you decided not to. Why? Because of your moral character. That decision defines who you are. Now take a character who has a similar backstory and inner conflicts, but who decided to punch someone in the face. You’ve now created a completely different dimensioned character.

Hopefully you can see how each of the dimensions informs the others, but they’re each distinct and unique. The 1st and 2nd dimensions don’t necessarily dictate the 3rd. This is how you layer your character to create depth. Think of the layers of an onion. The layers aren’t transparent. You can’t see through one to what’s underneath. You need to peel back to find what’s at the core.

#6 Tips for Creating 3D Characters:
These tips will help you flesh out some multi-dimensional depth:

1. Let them surprise you
A shy person who’s always shy suddenly finds herself flirting with an attractive stranger on the train. Be open to unexpected reactions in your MC. An outspoken businessman gets tongue-tied when facing a big presentation or speech. Don’t restrict your characters to acting a certain way all the time. Punch things up. Everyone acts out of character periodically; imbue your MC with a little “out of character” action and surprise your reader.

2. Let them search for a purpose
We all—at least most of us—search for a greater purpose in our lives. Let your MC reach for one. When faced with a hard decision, let your character decide to take a different path because it brings her closer to her beliefs or dreams. Whether or not this turns out to be a good or bad decision is another story. Give your MC a sense of destiny and see where it takes her.

3. Let inner feelings be expressed physically
When we feel good about ourselves, we might dress a little differently or spend more time on an up-do to make our outer appearance match the way we feel inside. On the flip side, don’t tell us your main character is trying to fight off a wave of insecurity through inner dialogue or omniscient narrative. Show us the fingernails bitten and torn, ragged and bleeding.

4. Use conflicting emotions
You know you want that third cookie before dinner, but you also really want to lose the last 10 pounds you’ve been working on. Human beings are naturally conflicted about a lot of things. Let us see that your MC is conflicted about her strongest beliefs. She’ll be much more human for it.

5. Use real-life emotions
You’ve experienced emotions in life. It may not have been the same scenario as your MC is facing, but you can draw from your life experiences to inform your writing about what your character is feeling. Did you have a beloved pet die when you were a kid? Channel those emotions into your MC when something bad happens. The details aren’t important; the human emotions of losing something beloved are.

6. Use dialogue to illustrate deceit or create power dynamics
Often what comes out of your MC’s mouth is quite different from what they are really thinking. Your reader has the unique ability to read your MC’s thoughts and see whether they are being honest or have some ulterior motive.

Human beings are conflicted, emotional creations that work on all three dimensions. They are a sum of all their parts, and that’s the essence you want to convey when creating your MC. They are the best—and worst—mix of their dark and deeply hidden secrets.

It’s your job to show your readers these dimensions to create engaging and compelling characters that are complex, frightening, endearing, and, most of all, empathetic.


First, what are they?
Parentheticals, or actor/character directions, or “wrylies,” are those little descriptions that sometimes appear after a character’s name, in dialogue blocks, to spell out tone, intent or action.
In the poorly written example below (see Rule #1), the parentheticals are “(breathlessly)” and “(confused)”:
The Loyal Squire bursts through the door. Collapses on the ground. Pulls a bloodied envelope from his pocket.
I may not live... to see tomorrow my liege... But I die knowing... that I have served thee well.
I’m sorry. Who are you?

10 Rules for Using Parentheticals

1. Don’t use parentheticals when it’s redundant or obvious
It’s a common mistake to use parentheticals in places where the emotion or intent of the dialogue is already obvious (my example above, for instance).
Many actors dislike parentheticals — it’s their job to interpret the emotion, etc. of the scene based on the dialogue provided. So it’s very important to use them sparingly for emotional cues, and only when it would otherwise be unclear…

2. Use parentheticals to avoid confusion
Take the following dialogue, for example:
How did you like my stew? It’s an old family recipe.
I hated it.
That’s very different than the following (especially when developing a character):
How did you like my stew? It’s an old family recipe.
I hated it.

3. Don’t use parentheticals to direct minor actions
Similar to Rule #1 (where you’re needlessly directing an actor’s emotions), it’s also a faux pas to overuse them for an actor’s actions.
Example of POOR usage:
(index finger massages his right temple)
There must be a way out of here. We have to think.
(purses lips)
I can’t come up with anything.
(scratching neck)
Have you tried opening the door?
(shaking head)
No, not yet.
Leave the decisions of those minor actions up to the actor. In the example above, all of the parentheticals should be removed.
Note: If your character has a specific quirk, that’s pivotal to your story, you have a bit more leeway in this regard. But even then, you may be better off including such mannerisms in a line of description.

4. Use parentheticals for quick, significant actions
Often times, you can save several lines by slipping quick and significant actions into the dialogue block. And since some execs only read the dialogue blocks of a script to save time, this practice can even provide some much-needed clarity.
Example of GOOD usage:
Son of a bitch. You got blood on my shirt!
(kicks the body)
And now my shoe!

5. Parentheticals should never come at the end of a dialogue block
Example of INCORRECT usage:
I told you not to disturb me!
(throws pen at the door)
If the action follows the dialogue, simply pull it out and make it a separate line of description:
I told you not to disturb me!
He throws his pen at the door. It rebounds. Hits him in the eye.

6. Don’t use parentheticals for the actions of a different character
While one actor is speaking, you can’t describe another actor’s actions.
Example of INCORRECT usage:
There are ninjas all over the place!
(Bruno steps to the window)
What are we gonna do man?
Instead, you would use:
There are ninjas all over the place!
Bruno steps to the window. Stares bug-eyed.
What are we gonna do man?!

7. Don’t use parentheticals for sounds or camera directions
Example of INCORRECT usage:
We need to get to that house on the hill!
(steps INTO FRAME)
Like, you mean that creepy one everyone said was haunted?!
Instead you would write something like:
The WIND HOWLS. Whips at the group’s hair and clothes.
We need to get to that house on the hill!
Like, you mean that creepy one everyone said was haunted?!
I left out the “steps INTO FRAME” part. Don’t specify camera directions (in your spec script) unless they’re critical to the comprehension of your scene. Leave that up to the director.

8. Don’t capitalize the first letter of parentheticals
Example or INCORRECT usage:
(Gritting his teeth)
I couldn’t be happier.
Example of CORRECT usage:
(gritting his teeth)
I couldn’t be happier.

9. Use correct punctuation in parentheticals
In those rare cases where you need to specify multiple actions in your parenthetical, don’t use periods, dashes or ellipses.
Example of INCORRECT usage:
(looks up from clipboard... smiles -- waves them through with gun.)
Don’t worry. I will not waste my time with you.
First of all, that’s a lot to put in the parenthetical. The first two parts, if not all the parts, should probably have been written as scene description. But for purposes of this exercise, semi-colons are the answer…
Example of CORRECT usage:
(looks up from clipboard; smiles; waves them through with gun)
Don’t worry. I will not waste my time with you.

10. Don’t use a pronoun to start the parenthetical
Example of INCORRECT usage:
(he winks at Betty)
Sure Sarah, I’ve always thought you were the prettiest.
Instead, you would simply write:
(winks at Betty)
Sure Sarah, I’ve always thought you were the prettiest.


… Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.


… one day you’re going to want something, and that’s when you’ll find out who you really are.


What Is Television Writing?
Television writing is the art of writing a TV show. Television is an exciting medium for writers because they get to control everything from the stories that are told to how the sets are built. TV writers develop stories, write scripts, make edits and revisions, and help determine what an episode looks like.

Ways TV Writing Is Different From Film Writing
The mechanics of writing a feature film script and writing a television script are the same: Both look the same on the page, both are typed up with screenwriting software like Final Draft, and both use location headings, character headings, scene descriptions, and dialogue. But the two script writing processes have a number of differences. Here’s why writing for TV is different:
* 1. TV scripts are shorter than movie scripts. Writing an episode of television takes less time and results in fewer pages. TV episodes are either 30 minutes or 60 minutes long with commercial breaks, while feature films are at least 90 minutes long.
* 2. TV shows have different narrative structures. A movie has a clear beginning, middle, and end, while TV shows are episodic and allow for multiple beginnings, middles, and ends. Each TV script is part of a larger narrative, with multiple character and story arcs divided across a number of episodes and seasons.
* 3. TV scripts don’t have to resolve every story right away. Every episode will come to its own conclusion, but they don’t have to be wrapped up neatly; the stories and characters will continue to grow into the next episode. TV writers can take things slow, play with cliffhangers, and allow plots to develop over time.
* 4. TV scripts are dialogue-driven. TV shows typically focus on the writing rather than the visuals to drive the story. Movies are more cinematic than most TV shows and involve more considered cinematography.
* 5. TV shows require more writing in the long-run. Individual episodes are shorter than movies, but require more writing over the course of a season or entire series.
A Guide to Formatting TV Scripts
There used to be a lot of rules for writing television, particularly around established formats, such as procedural drama. But today, with the vast amount of platforms your show can live on, any storytelling format is possible. It’s beneficial to know the traditional rules so you know which ones you’re breaking.
Before you begin writing your script, it’s important to understand how to structure an episode of TV. Let’s examine how a standard one-hour television show is structured. Typically on network television, there are about five acts roughly lasting about 11 pages each. Here’s how Rhimes views the structure of each of the acts:
* Act I: Introduce your characters and present the problem.
* Act II: Escalate the problem.
* Act III: Have the worst-case scenario happen.
* Act IV: Begin the ticking clock.
* Act V: Have the characters reach their moment of victory.
It’s helpful to think about how you want each of your acts to end as you begin to lay out the structure for your episode. Work these out ahead of time and properly set your story up for them, rather than dumping a twist at the end of each act just for excitement’s sake.
The other essential components of your episodes are your A, B, and C storylines:
* A storyline: The A storyline involves your main character and is the core of your show.
* B storyline: The B storyline is secondary and helps the narrative keep moving forward.
* C storyline: The c storyline, sometimes referred to as “the runner,” is the smallest storyline and holds the least weight.
The Differences Between a Writing Sitcom and Writing a Drama
Writing a TV comedy, or sitcom, is a different process from writing a TV drama. Here’s what makes them different:
* Tone. TV sitcoms are funny, tackle lighthearted topics, and intend to make viewers laugh. Dramas are more serious and take time to develop a story rather than telling jokes.
* Story Arc and Pace. Sitcoms have a quick narrative pace, they focus on the build to the climax, have less act breaks, and introduce the conflict before the end of act one. The more time the characters spend solving a problem, the less room there is in the script for humor. Dramas are paced slower, have more act breaks, and spend more time developing the story, building to a climax, and arriving at a conclusion.
* Run Time. Sitcoms run for approximately 21 minutes without commercials, while dramas run for about 43 minutes without commercials. One page of a script in Final Draft equals about one minute on air, so a 21-minute sitcom script should be around 20 pages long, and a script for a 43-minute long drama should be about 40 pages long.
How to Pitch a TV Show
Once you have a great concept for a show, there are three things you’ll need in order to pitch it to network executives:
* A treatment. A treatment is a document that provides an explanation of your TV show’s setting, main characters, and storyline. Every treatment should include a title, logline, synopsis, summary of episodes, and character bios.
* A pilot script. A pilot is the first episode of a TV series. Your TV pilot needs an opening that is going to grab your viewers and says something important to your audience about the show they are going to watch. Without a compelling pilot, you don’t have a TV show. Pilots are crucial for hooking an audience and setting up your characters and storyline for an entire season.
* A show bible. A show bible, also called a story bible or a series bible, is a document that contains the history of your characters, an outline of every episode in the first season, and how you see the show expanding into future seasons. Writing a show bible forces you to think beyond the pilot episode and can help you see the bigger picture of your show idea.
Learn more about how to pitch a TV show in our complete guide here.
9 Tips for Breaking Into TV Writing
There’s no rulebook for what it takes to make it in Hollywood. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances and place yourself in a position for success, including:
* 1. Know your television history. Knowing your television history is key to being a great television writer. For example, if you’re writing a medical drama like Grey’s Anatomy, then you better know the other medical dramas that have been created and why they either succeeded or failed.
* 2. Move to the city. The vast majority of production companies are based in the city, and as a result, most TV writing jobs are based there.
* 3. Write a spec script. A spec script is a TV script written speculatively, meaning it was not commissioned by a network. Writers use spec scripts to demonstrate talent and creativity. An easy way to write a spec script is to choose a current TV show you’re familiar with and write a sample episode. Your manager can use your spec scripts when being considered for various writing jobs.
* 4. Get a job as a writer’s assistant. Working as an assistant is a rite of passage for many new to the industry. Rather than looking down on the position as entry-level work, consider it an opportunity to observe and learn from the brilliant minds around you.
* 5. Network. You should be making an effort to not only build relationships with executives, but also with your peers. As they rise, they are likely to offer you opportunities to help you grow as well.
* 6. Enter TV writing contests, apply for TV writing fellowships, and attend TV writing workshops. The competition is tough, but somebody has to win or get selected to attend. To enter, you usually have to submit unique writing samples, which is great practice for aspiring TV writers.
* 7. Work hard. Breaking into the world of television writing isn’t easy. There are many more hopeful writers than there are positions available within the industry’s writers’ rooms, so bringing your dream to life requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
* 8. Have a positive attitude. Be conscious of the vibe and attitude you give off to your superiors, especially as you take on some of the more mundane tasks the job entails. Nobody wants to work with someone who is grouchy or entitled.
* 9. Write every day. As you make your way through the industry, don’t forget that your most valuable assets are your writing skills and portfolio work. Writing is one of the few jobs you don’t need to be hired to do. Write every day, put in the time to hone your craft, and focus on writing original content.

Photos from Kalture Film Academy's post 08/01/2023

The art of telling a story is ultimately narrowed down to its basic structure. And Dan Harmon’s Story Circle is an example of one of many story structures.

These different structures can be fantastic, invaluable guides for writing a screenplay. And so in this article, we’ll break down Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, showing how it can help you in your screenplay and demonstrating how it looks in action, using some examples.

Table of Contents
* What Is Dan Harmon’s Story Circle?
* How Dan Harmon’s Story Circle Works
* The 8 Steps to Dan Harmon’s Story Circle
* The Steps Explained
* 1. In A Zone Of Comfort
* 2. They Desire Something
* 3. Enter An Unfamiliar Situation
* 4. Adapt To The Situation
* 5. Get What They Desired
* 6. Pay A Heavy Price For Winning
* 7. A Return To Their Familiar Situation
* 8. They Have Overall Changed
* Character Arcs
* Movie Examples Using Dan Harmon’s Story Circle
* Movie Analysis Example 1 – While You Were Sleeping (1995)
* First Half of The Story Circle
* Second Half of The Story Circle
* Movie Analysis Example 2 – The Cat in the Hat (2003)
* First Half of The Story Circle
* Second Half of The Story Circle
* Movie Analysis Example 3 – Taken (2008)
* First Half of The Story Circle
* Second Half of The Story Circle
* In Conclusion
* In Summary

What Is Dan Harmon’s Story Circle?
American writer, Dan Harmon, most known for the popular comedy series, Rick & Morty, created a simplified version of The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell. The Hero’s Journey was first depicted in Campbell’s book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces in the mid-20th century.

The structure of The Hero’s Journey consists of twelve steps, where the hero delves out of their ordinary world into a special world and is faced with tests and obstacles, meeting allies and enemies on the way with multiple turning points.

Dan Harmon’s Story Circle depicts eight steps for the protagonist to travel into this special world. The Story Circle is also known as The Story Embryo as each step represents a new change in the story.

The Circle is split into two halves horizontally and vertically.
* The vertical line down the middle represents the character’s internal change.
* The horizontal line across the middle represents the character’s external change.

•How Dan Harmon’s Story Circle Works
The right side of the vertical line represents a balance of order or a state of equilibrium, where the character is stuck in the normal world and has yet to face the change.

The left side of the vertical line represents a character’s changing transformation. Entering out of the normal world into the special world.

The top half of the horizontal line represents a state of order, where everything is in control within the hands of the protagonist.

The bottom half of the horizontal line represents a state of chaos, where the extraordinary world brings unknown trials that will challenge the protagonist and test their strengths and weaknesses.

Crossing the bottom half of the circle represents the character change, where the protagonist leaves their special world in a completely different position and state to when they entered that new world. They face new revelations and observe their new selves.

When the first threshold is crossed the character loses. When the second threshold is crossed, they will have learnt enough to beat the antagonist.

•The 8 Steps to Dan Harmon’s Story Circle
Dan Harmon’s Story Circle has 8 steps. Each step changes the direction and course of the protagonist‘s journey.

The Story Circle’s 8 Steps:
1. In A Zone of Comfort
2. They Desire Something
3. Enter An Unfamiliar Situation
4. Adapt to The Situation
5. Get What They Desired
6. Pay a Heavy Price for Winning
7. A Return to Their Familiar Situation
8. They Have Overall Changed

•The Steps Explained
1. In A Zone Of Comfort
In the first step, the protagonist is surrounded by a world known to them, where they are in control of their situation. This world is unchallenging and the protagonist lives a relatively mundane everyday.

2. They Desire Something
The protagonist really wants something. They want to achieve this goal so bad they will go to great lengths to achieve it. However, this desire is out of their reach and throws them out of their comfort zone.

3. Enter An Unfamiliar Situation
In order to achieve this goal or desire the protagonist has to enter unknown territory. They are thrown into a world beyond their control.

4. Adapt To The Situation
The protagonist combines their already established skills with their newly acquired skills to fully adapt to their new surroundings. However, this takes time which can lead to trouble as time is never on their side.

Harold Lloyd Fighting Against Time in Safety Last! (1923)

5. Get What They Desired
The one thing they truly wanted is gained but other obstacles follow close behind.

6. Pay A Heavy Price For Winning
When things go too well bad things start to happen. The protagonist wins something but loses another thing. Something important or meaningful to the protagonist has been lost.

7. A Return To Their Familiar Situation
The protagonist returns to their normal world. As a result, they ease back into their zone of comfort, where everything is familiar again.

8. They Have Overall Changed
However, after entering back into their familiar world, the protagonist does not return as the same person. A deep-rooted trait has changed inside them, whether that be a fear they have overcome or a character flaw that they have changed. Although, by the end of the journey the character’s everyday life has been enriched by their experience.

The character can start the circle again and follow the same process. For example, in The Harry Potter franchise, Harry wants something and enters a new world and has to overcome his obstacles in each of the movies, whilst meeting allies and enemies along the journey.

•Character Arcs
Character arcs in TV Show characters will follow this story circle more in each episode. The character will find themselves in an unfamiliar place or situation and The Story Circle process will start up again in each episode.

The beginning and ending of The Story Circle are the shortest stages, with the lower half of the circle containing the most important steps on the journey.

Saul Goodman’s Double Life in Better Call Saul (2015- Present)

Dan Harmon’s Story Circle tends to be symmetrical. As opposite sides of the circle correspond with the steps.
* For example, Step 2 – where the character desires something is directly opposite to Step 6 – where the character has to pay a heavy price for gaining what they desperately desired.

The Story Circle can be applied to other areas of development too – from sub-plot development to side-characters, not just the protagonist’s story. All characters in the story can have a story circle in their journey arc, from main characters to minor characters.

The story always changes direction when the character crosses the first and second thresholds.

•Movie Examples Using Dan Harmon’s Story Circle: “Bryan Mills Desperately Trying To Find Answers in Taken”
Dan Harmon’s Story Circle can be applied to stories in different genres. Below we will look at three examples of movies from different genres – romance, family and action – using the Story Circle as analysis.

•First Half of The Story Circle
1. Familiarity – The film opens with the protagonist, Bryan, buying a present for his daughter, Kim’s seventeenth birthday party. Bryan knows she wants to be a singer and buys her a karaoke machine. Her stepfather competes with him and buys her a pony.
Bryan has a strained relationship with Kim’s mother and stepfather. He lives a life of solitude as a retired Government Operative. The audience learns his ways as he prefers to know background information on people he meets and is always careful. However, his daughter, Kim is the exact opposite. She is oblivious to the real world and is carefree in her nature.

2. Bryan wants to be closer to his daughter and wishes to see her more often. He was away from Kim’s life for a long time because of his job and is finally trying to reconnect with her. As a favour for his friends, Bryan takes on a Security Job for a popular singer, whom his daughter is a fan of.
Bryan proves his skills and can clearly handle himself when a concert situation gets out of hand. He earns the trust of the singer.

3. Kim goes to Paris with her friend. It’s out of Bryan’s control. His rules and conditions are thrown out the window. Bryan has tried to always know Kim’s whereabouts. He is thrown into an unknown world, where he fears the unknown.
He’s left in the dark and knows less information than he wishes to know. Kim is taken. Bryan’s new goal is to find his daughter within an underworld of drug lords and trafficking.

4. Bryan adapts back to his old ways of investigating and uses his knowledge to enter into their new world.

•Second Half of The Story Circle
5. Bryan edges closer to what he wants. But each step is only one small step in a big place. He’s so near yet so far when he finally sees his daughter at a bidding war amongst high-paying clientele.
6. But in order to get there, he has to go through a series of fights and dangerous challenges. This displays the size and power of the organization from the sheer volume of men, Bryan has to get past in order to find Kim.
7. Bryan finally gets to the head of the organization. He gets his daughter back and the family dynamic has slightly changed. The mother and her new husband seem to warm to Bryan more and have a newfound respect for him.
8. Bryan has fully connected with his daughter. And particularly, after suffering this whole ordeal together has strengthened their bond. Especially, because Kim and Bryan were the only two to see the horror of the trafficking business and have both learnt the dangers.
They have connected on a whole new level and shared an experience together that Kim is unable to share with anyone else.

*In Conclusion
Movies in different genres can follow Dan Harmon’s Story Circle structure, as the above examples demonstrate. Genres from Comedy Romance Drama in While You Were Sleeping to Comedy Family Adventure in The Cat in the Hat and Crime, Thriller and Action in Taken.

These are just a few examples of genre-specific movies that can fit the steps within the circle.

Ultimately, the protagonist is taken on this journey because something in their life needs to change. Their goal spurns them on in this change and they learn from the experience, using their journey as a way to transform the mundane familiar world into a world they can better understand.

Dan Harmon’s Story Circle lays this out in very clear terms. It’s all about taking the protagonist on a clear journey and the steps in that journey being discernible. By framing these steps in a circle, the pattern becomes obvious. Journeys are typically circular after all, ebbing and flowing rather than following a strict linear line. And the story circle is a helpful visualisation of this.

In terms of structural techniques to follow, there are many different ways to skin a cat. And all can be helpful in clarifying a path for you to follow writing your screenplay. Adhering to the rules without any wriggle room isn’t necessarily the point. But having clear beats to follow is always a surefire way to give your story solidity.

In Summary
What is Dan Harmon’s Story Circle?
Dan Harmon’s Story Circle is a narrative structure to follow for writing a screenplay. There are 8 steps, broken down into different stages of the protagonist‘s journey through the story and the extent of the change enacted upon them throughout.
How Do You Use Dan Harmon’s Story Circle?

There are 8 Steps in Dan Harmon’s Story Circle. These include:
1. In A Zone of Comfort – The protagonist lives in the mundane everyday.

2. They Desire Something – The character has a goal they will go to great lengths to achieve.

3. Enter An Unfamiliar Situation – They are thrown into a world of the unknown.

4. Adapt to The Situation – The protagonist adapts by blending their knowledge with their newly acquired skills.

5. They Get What They Desired – Their ultimate goal is accomplished but the finishing line is nowhere near.

6. They Pay a Heavy Price for Winning – They lose something important to them, which sets them back further.

7. A Return to Their Familiar Situation – The protagonist goes back to their normal world but they are a completely different person from the start of their journey.

8. They have Overall Changed – The protagonist uses their experience to enrich their new lives back in the familiar world.

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