Screenwriting ? The Lone Wolf Story Structure Template

Story Structure Templates are the fastest way to write screenplays. One of the most well known and often used templates, which goes beyond three and four act structure, is the Hero's Journey. Arguably, all stories are a variation of this template and the Lone Wolf is one of the most successful of those variations.

The Lone Wolf template is best explained with a combination of Arthurian Legend archetypes as well as Hero's Journey archetypes. A hero journeys to another land to discover the cause behind the death of blood relatives. A battle with Demon Kings, Enemy Knights, betrayal of an Oracle, Mentors, Shape Shifters and a growing set of revelations result in a Final Conflict and eventual catharsis. This hero can also be considered an anti-hero and this template allows for his final death with the inclusion of a Dark Knight.

The Lone Wolf story structure template consists of 56 sequences, which translates to approximately 2 pages per sequence to complete a full length screenplay. The first eleven sequences include:

1) The (developed) Hero interacts with a Demon King (1) and his Queen. There is a deep, forbidden relationship (maybe sexual) between the Hero and Queen, however, the Demon King is unaware of it and would disapprove if he knew. The Queen is uncomfortable with this situation but the Hero must keep it secret or similar, due to his dependent relationship with the Demon King, the Demon King's strength or that the Hero is in fact a Knight in the service of the Demon King.

2) The Hero feels the need to embark on an adventure, to discover the cause of a recent tragic event, where a family member died ? he suspects that the relative was murdered. The Demon King warns the Hero not to embark on the adventure; references to the dangerous nature of the adventure and the land therein; references to the dangerous nature of antagonists he will encounter there; references to the dangerous nature of the hero himself; references to the hero's status. Reasons may be given as to why the Hero must embark on the adventure. The Demon King may forbid the Hero to travel to the adventure; he may not desire relations with that Kingdom jeopardised.

3) Hero journeys to the land of the adventure. En route, we learn more of his character through his behaviour.

4) Hero arrives at the land of the adventure and makes his way to a social arena, usually an inn, which is full of strange and unfamiliar creatures. The (high) status of the Hero in this place is established. The Hero has arranged a meeting with a Mentor, who was familiar with the deceased and the events surrounding the death. However, the Mentor does not appear. The Hero (may communicate with the Mentor) is suspicious and learns somehow that the Mentor is not interested in this interaction.

5) The Hero enters the home or territory of the deceased relative, with special knowledge gained through some past experience. It is a dark and unwelcoming place. The Hero feels he is being watched. He finds a Magical Aid there. There are reminders of the blood relative's death, perhaps even the body of the relative waiting to undergo a death ceremony. The Hero demonstrates empathy and a closeness with the deceased.

6) The Hero finds a Safe Haven, where he meets an Ally (1). The Hero explains the rules and may have to buy the Ally's allegiance.

7) We learn more of the Hero's character through his behaviour.

8) The Hero investigates the death, by asking specialists, to see if it was caused by some foul play. There is no indication of foul play.

9) The Hero meets the close relatives of the deceased ? who are also related to him. The Hero queries them of the circumstances of the death. Indications as to how he died are given.

10) The Hero and the burial ceremony are being watched.

11) The Hero empathises with the relatives of the deceased and offers to provide support. He mentions his plans to marry the Queen, who is of course the property of Demon King (1) ?this also implies a coming conflict between Hero and Demon King (1).

The Hero's Journey and Lone Wolf story structure templates can be found at http://www.managing-creativity.com.

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA

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You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com.

In The News:

Writing with care  UCI News
Kathryn Aalto's 'Writing Wild'  Santa Barbara Independent
4 Writers to Watch This Summer  The New York Times

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