trigger for your scenario

élément déclencheur de votre scénario

Well how to start his story with the trigger


Hello to all. I keep the articles that inspire me the readings that I make of your scenarios. This allows me to go back on the basics of writing. Today I’m going to paint the “portrait” of thetrigger. As all the elements of a scenario, it must be prepared, brought in for other items and in turn be a link (essentially) of history.

The trigger for that is what it is ?

At the start of your story it must be thatwe discover the life of your hero, his daily if you prefer. Thetrigger for this is “the grain” of sand that will disrupt this everyday. It is important to know that the trigger must be something not wanted or not wanted by the hero. It falls on him from above and he will have to make do with it.

Important Note : The trigger can be for your hero :

  • Positive (he (she) wins the Lottery)
  • Negative (He / she) learns that her husband (his wife) wants to divorce

Imagine that your hero is a man who walks in perfect balance on top of a wall or a wire, a kind of tightrope. Your character is balancing on the wire of his life. The trigger for this is what will bring your hero to a situation of imbalance and that will force him to fix the situation to find a new balance.

Important Note 2 : there can be only one element trigger by history. But it may be that you have a number of forerunners (catalysts) of the trigger

The importance of the exhibition

This important note 2 requires me to talk to you about the exposure. I started a little to talk about at the beginning of the explanation of what is a trigger.

The exhibition, the presentation of the ordinary world of the hero, will allow us to give the audience all the keys so that they understand the reactions of the hero in the face of the trigger. The exhibition may contain catalysts, that is to say, events (elements) heralds preparer to the understanding of the disruptive element (trigger)

Is one obliged to have an exhibition ?

The answer is clearly no. But (there is always a but ;o)) the fact of not having exposure will necessarily require you to return to what binds your character to the triggering element. You will therefore, whatever happens, we have to explain why and how your hero reacts and acts in history and that is what this trigger upset in the balance of the hero. Which may often have the aim of slowing down the narrative.

An exhibition can be more or less long depending on the genre but also the type of the trigger. In addition, this item is ” universal “ the more the exposure may be short.

Of inertia to the action of your heroes

The trigger is located in the act as a. It aims to bring your hero to action at the end of this act. Once the element imbalance in his life, the hero will not stop, in your scenario, to find this balance. For this, he must “put himself in danger” and take action. But be careful ! Let one thing be clear : your hero will not be able to find his life before. It will necessarily have to be that there has been a transformation of the hero.

This is the time (or just after) that the hero becomes aware of a lack in his life. The objective of the hero, his desire up to the end of the story will be to fill this lack.

Example :

If I take the example of ” die hard “, the purpose of John is put out of state to harm the terrorists who have taken hostage the employees of the Nakatomi Plaza. But, basically, the taking of hostages personally touched John to the fact that his wife is among the hostages.

Beyond this desire to save Holly, such a trigger will allow John to respond to a need, thanks to its adventure dan the story, rabibocher with his wife. And this is an interesting example because it is seen that the trigger causes a “double” goal and the internal and external, what I have just explained by objective internal and external.

Often this need for a character is not necessarily known.

Therefore, the trigger must be upsetting personally the daily life of the hero.

The trigger also has to fear, in the sense that it challenges the life, the beliefs of your hero. Listen, be aware of the future change, should not be simple for your hero. He must even refuse the change. Thus the passage to the action of your hero should not be done immediately after the triggering element.

Example of exposure and trigger

Back 2 seconds to the exposure and the trigger : If I take the example of the “Trap” of crystal “, the exhibition shows us that John is a cop, he joined his wife for the holidays but their relationship is struggling. This is a quick explanation of the situation I agree ! ;o)

One might think that the trigger for the film happens to be the time where terrorists kill the employee (guardian) of the Nakatomi plaza. This is wrong, because at that time, John, the life of john, is not upset. On the other hand for us the viewer it is clearly a catalyst that will allow us to make the trigger stronger and more empathetic.

When the terrorists shootduring the cocktail hour, and gathers everyone in the main room, and as John sees this scene, at this time, it is clearly the trigger ! This event will upset the balance of John and it will not cease to find a new one.

But be careful, before John decides to take action it is necessary to accept the adventure…and it is not so simple. If you look at this movie or other, you will see that the trigger is not the start of the passage to the action of the hero, there is a whole process. Christopher Vogler and Joseph Campbell called the trigger : the call of adventure, the second entry point of the history, the first being the exhibition : the ordinary world.

If you want to learn more about the following steps I invite you to read this article by clicking on this link.

For that you can sketch out what you just said :

  • Before the trigger should be : an exhibition
  • The trigger element affects the ordinary life, the balance of the hero
  • It must personally affect the hero
  • It must be the cause of the action of your heroes at the end of act 1
  • The goal of your hero is to find a new balance in reaching (or not) its goal.
  • The hero must have a double objective : Internal and external or if you prefer a need and a desire.

Year :

Give me, in the comments below, a catalyst and the trigger for the latest film that you have you or of your favorite movie.

That’s it for this introduction to the trigger. Let me have your comments at the bottom of the article.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o).

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Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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