In adding depth to the story plot, according to the master storyteller Joe Lambert, there may be distinguished seven stages through which the story flows:
- The story begins describing the ordinary life of the characters, enjoying stability and peace. The images and sensations of this stage are to be kept in the main character’s mind as references of the expected rejoice upon restoring balance at the end of the story.
- All of a sudden the antagonist appears and the challenge turns the story into an action driven sequence of struggles that puts the audience in a suspense mood until the end of the story. The main character decides to take action to tackle the challenge.
- Sometimes, there is a moment when the main character stops to consider if the decision made is the most appropriate. Surrendering or taking an easier way may lead to living the rest of his or her life sacrificing the set of their own values for a set of untested and probably undesirable ones.
- When the main character decides to keep on struggling challenging the limits of his or her capacities and suffering in the darkness and loneliness. But soon after, the main character starts to succeed and gains a sense of new power and a new way of seeing the life going forward. This is a moment of change, as the character is redefining his identity.
- The main character starts developing a new identity, driven by a mission. As a result of survival and resiliency, the new hero is able to guide others in their way to healing and self-improvement towards a better version of themselves.
- Despite the emergence of the hero with renewed strength, the antagonist strikes back to challenge the hero’s weaknesses again as a test to raise his awareness about his vulnerability and need for humility despite the significant improvements achieved.
- At the end of the journey the hero comes back home as a model of resilience and success. The story of struggles has nurtured the hero and his community with renewed knowledge, confidence and hope in the chances of overcoming future challenges.
Would you consider adding any other stage?