Hollywood Structure

Stages:

The simplicity of this narrative structure means if the storyline does not include these four stages, then it is not Hollywood Structure. This structure never varies.

1. Hero
Introduce and establish a protagonist—the main character who is usually the hero. Identify the hero's strengths and any flaws.

2. Goal
Introduce and establish a goal for the hero to pursue.

3. Obstacle
Introduce the obstacle that threatens failure for the hero. The obstacle may be a force of nature, an antagonistic criminal organization, a physical handicap, a lack of knowledge or a skill, etc. It may be an aspect of the hero's flaw or the goal itself.

4. Success
The hero gathers what is needed to combat the obstacle, usually making repeated attempts before achieving success.

Stages

The simplicity of this narrative structure means if the storyline does not include these four stages, then it is not Hollywood Structure. This structure never varies.
1. Hero
Introduce and establish a protagonist—the main character who is usually the hero. Identify...
Example

In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Professor Indiana Jones, archeologist and adventurer, races to find the Ark of the Covenant thought to be buried beneath the lost city of Tannis during biblical times. The Nazis are the central obstacle. They are also trying to locate the Ark for the...

Learning Applications

When to apply this structure:
A good clue to using this narrative structure is when a storyline has a strong, active hero with a clear goal and a significant obstacle. Complications generally arise when working to eliminate the obstacle, but the obstacle and goal are obvious and...