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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jurassic Park


The Marathon Method of Plotting


This is the first official installment in my brand new Plot Arc Library. Movies are faster to absorb than reading an entire novel. So when studying story structure and plot points, it's a great idea to look at popular movie examples to understand plot arc.

The nature of a plot point is such that it is short, like a simple mile marker in a race. Just a spec on the larger spectrum of the full story (or race). The more examples you see (and study), the easier plotting will become. When you think about plotting your novel like running a marathon, it starts to make a little more sense.

Movie outline for Jurassic Park || Christie Wright Wild - Plot Arc Library

Plot Point 1: The Signup


The first plot point of the five major plot points in any story is also known as the inciting incident, the call to action, the defining moment, or the catalyst. The Marathon Method of Plotting calls the first plot point in the narrative story arc THE SIGNUP.

John Hammond, the old rich man who owns Jurassic Park, invites archaeologist, Alan Grant, to join him for the weekend to check out his new park in hopes that he will agree to endorse it. John keeps it a mystery from Alan, but says it's right up his alley.

Plot Point 2: The Gunshot


The Gunshot is the point of no return.

In Jurassic Park, this is the moment when we see that Alan has agreed to visit the park. He is on the helicopter with his colleague, Ellie, a chaotician, Ian Malcolm, the "bloodsucking lawyer", and of course John Hammond, himself. Alan is on the journey now. There's no turning back.

Plot Point 3: The Halfway Point


When Alan saves one of John's two grandchildren, Timmy from the car dangling in a tree, he has overcome a major challenge, but we know that there will be many more challenges to overcome: the storm, getting back to the safety of the compound, and more.



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Plot Point 4: The Wall


The Wall is the lowest point, the darkest abyss, rock bottom.

In Jurassic Park, The Wall is when the velociraptors attack. They attack Ellie after she gets the power turned back on. They attack John's two grandchildren when they are in the kitchen back at the compound. They continue to attack until the T-rex shows up, allowing everyone to escape.

Plot Point 5: The Finish Line


The Finish Line is the climax of the story, the point in which the goal has been reached (or failure has been established).

In this story, the Finish Line is when everyone escapes from the raptors and T-rex and Alan shouts to John as they climb in the Jeep, "Hammond, after careful consideration, I've decided not to endorse your park."

You might also like Wonder Woman, Shrek, or My Girl 2.

Did you like this Plot Point Example? Do you have a special request of a popular movie you'd like me to use as a future Plot Point Example? Share in the comments!

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Jurassic Park - Plot Arc Example - When John Hammond invites Alan Grant to his theme park, he hopes to get several endorsements. || Story structure of the movie Jurassic Park.

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