Story Shamans Podcast – Episode 3 – The Shield

SPOILERS:

The Shield, The O.C. kinda…, Game of Thrones kinda…

SHOW NOTES:


Related Shamans Videos to Check out:

Resolution of the Core Conflict

Core Concept

Impossible Decision

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Seven Season Wrap Up!

Seven Season Wrap Up!

The seven seasons are all done. For convenience sake, we’ve put the entire structure in one place for easy reference.

Let’s get started!

Season 1

Dramatic Structure:

“Connection” expressed as ‘Identity’

  • Old vs. New Identities
  • Character Roles

“Positive” expressed as ‘New World’

  • New Circumstances/Location
  • Fresh Start

“Origins” expressed as ‘Old World’

  • Old Circumstances/Location
  • World Change

Dramatic Pace:

‘Establish Core Conflict’ and ‘Full Circle’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Thesis’ and ‘Beginning of First Era’

Season 2

Dramatic Structure:

“Separation” expressed as ‘Stress Tests’

  • Romances
  • Friendships

“Negative” expressed as ‘Meaningful Death’

  • Family or Friend
  • Foe

“Deviation” expressed as ‘Contradiction’

  • Role Reversals
  • Authority Figures

Dramatic Pace:

‘New Blood’ for your roster of characters and ‘Dragonslay’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Antithesis’ and ‘First Era Continued’

Season 3

Dramatic Structure:

“Connection” expressed as ‘Power’

  • Loss/Gain
  • Sexual Violence

“Positive” expressed as ‘Creation’

  • Newborns
  • Resurrections

“Origins” expressed as ‘Repercussions’

  • Debts
  • Revenge

Dramatic Pace:

‘Fallout’ and ‘Point of No Return: Circumstantially’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Synthesis/Thesis’ and ‘End of First Era’

Season 4

Dramatic Structure:

“Separation” expressed as ‘Disbandments’

  • Partnerships
  • Marriages

“Negative” expressed as ‘Weirdness’

  • Invasive
  • Otherworldly

“Deviation” expressed as ‘Shake Up’

  • Change of Circumstances
  • Up the Ante

Dramatic Pace:

‘Even trade’ for your roster of characters and ‘Promotion’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Antithesis’ and ‘Beginning of Second Era’

Season 5

Dramatic Structure:

“Connection” expressed as ‘Family’

  • Loss/Gain
  • Sacrifice

“Positive” expressed as ‘Salvation’

  • Protection
  • Redemption

“Origins” expressed as ‘Formation’

  • Relationships
  • Organizations

Dramatic Pace:

‘Impossible Decision’ and ‘Point of No Return: Emotionally’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Synthesis/Thesis’ and ‘End of Second Era’

Season 6

Dramatic Structure:

“Separation” expressed as ‘Role Challenge’

  • Circumstantial
  • Emotional

“Negative” expressed as ‘Bummer’

  • Death
  • Trauma

“Deviation” expressed as ‘Destruction’

  • Mistakes
  • Decisions

Dramatic Pace:

‘Deficit’ for your roster of characters and ‘Test/Trial’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Antithesis’ and ‘Beginning of Third Era’

Season 7

Dramatic Structure:

“Connection” expressed as ‘Legacy’

  • Descending
  • Ancestral

“Positive” expressed as ‘Individuality’

  • Loss/Gain
  • Mentorship

“Origins” expressed as ‘The Beginning’

  • Story
  • Show

Dramatic Pace:

‘Resolution of Core Conflict’ and ‘Point of No Return: Geographically’

Dramatic Evolution:

‘Synthesis’ and ‘End of Third Era/Series’

That’s it, Animals!



Season 6 (part 3) – Destruction

Season 6

Dramatic Structure:

Season 6 has 3 areas of concern:

What’s up with that:

Deviation

Season 2 expressed its deviation theme through “contradiction.”
Season 4 expressed its deviation theme through “shake up.”

And now season 6’s deviation theme is expressed through:

“Destruction”

In season 6, you want to destroy as many things as you can. Places, lives, ideas. Tear down as much as your story can handle.

You’ll commonly find two different flavors of destruction:

  • Mistakes
  • Decisions

Mistakes

This is a kind of unintentional destruction.

We see a lot of this in season 6 of Sons of Anarchy.

At the end of season 5, Otto killed a nurse. Turns out that was a big mistake. Her brother, a former U.S. Marshal, has the influence to make Otto pay for his mistake. He spends the season tearing Otto down, and eventually ending his life.

Or we’ve got the biggest “mistake” in all of S.O.A.: Gemma kills Tara. Because she thought the doctor had flipped on the club. She hadn’t.

That’s a huge mistake.

Decisions

This is a kind of intentional destruction.

Let’s take a look at season 6 of The Shield.

At the very end of season 5, Shane killed Lem in a desperate attempt to protect the Strike Team. He destroyed part of the team, to save it. Season 6 plays out the ramifications of this decision. Mackey is on a warpath to find Lem’s killer, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. And with every lie that Shane tells to keep Mackey from the truth, more destruction piles up.

Shane chose to kill Lem, he chose to hide the truth, and now it’s causing nothing but massive, reckless, destruction.

So when putting season 6 together, be sure to investigate your deviation theme via destruction. That’ll usually take the form of intentional or unintentional destruction. Or to look at it another way: mistakes and decisions.



Plot: Act 3

ACT 3:

Like the two before it, act 3 has five steps:

  • B Plot Convergence
  • New Plan
  • Destruction
  • Point of Desperation
  • Turning Point 3

B Plot Convergence:

The B plot converges with the main plot.

They twist, intersect, and crossover with one another. Like the B plot introduction in act 2, this step is movable. So you don’t have to have it occur here at the beginning of act 3. You could push it to the middle, or even to the end of act 3.

Why are we having the B plot converge with the main plot? Because as we approach the middle of the story, we need these two threads to come together into an integrated whole. That way the ending will satisfy both stories at once.

New Plan:

By this point, the original plan from act 2 has either failed, or succeeded. Either way…

We need a new plan in order to move forward and achieve our goal.

Destruction:

Like the “shenanigans” of act 2, this step will make up the majority of act 3.
Act 3 is all about the negative expression of the story’s seed.

Everything starts to go badly.

Everything is torn down. Destroy it all. This destruction culminates in a…

Point of Desperation:

Your character is at their darkest.

Their most vulnerable. They’re on the ropes, and they don’t think they’re gonna make it. Until…

Turning Point 3:

Something big happens. The story shifts in a new direction.

Just like turning points 1 and 2. This shift could be your main character reaching a new low, or it could be that an opportunity arises that they seize onto like a life raft. Either way, something big happens that closes out act 3, and pushes the story fully into act 4.

Let’s apply all of this to our bank robbery example:

ACT 3:

  • B Plot Convergence
  • New Plan
  • Destruction
  • Point of Desperation
  • Turning Point 3

B Plot Convergence:
We know that at the top of the story, Recruiter-Guy’s daughter was kidnapped. But now, the kidnappers are targeting our main character’s family as well. Wah-oh!

New Plan:
After the bank robbery got messy, our main character got away. His buddy wasn’t so lucky. Our main character devises a plan to break him out of police custody.

Destruction:
But this new plan brings nothing but further destruction.
While executing the new plan to break Recruiter-Guy out, our main character kills more cops, the getaway car is destroyed, he loses half of their stolen money, and to top it all off — he’s been shot in the shoulder. Our main character is seriously scrambling.
All of this destruction culminates in our main character reaching a…

Point of Desperation:
Our characters are speeding away in a getaway car. If they reach the highway they can get to a plane, and get out of the country. But then they see it — a police blockade. A multitude of officers, concrete barriers, cars, they’ve even got a helicopter circling above.

Turning Point 3:
Our characters stop. There’s nowhere to run. The police commissioner himself approaches the car. He reveals that he’s not only the police commissioner. He’s also – the leader of the kidnappers!

Dun dun dunnnnnn!