Stage 8 / Greatest Plot Structure

 Stage 8 is the second of the two most important stages of the Archetypal Story Pattern, the greatest plot structure in the world. Many would say that it is the most important stage.

We’ve reached the Ordeal, the Dark Moment, the greatest trial for our protagonist, the point closest to Death—the near loss of a love, a goal or dream almost destroyed, a job or status at an explosive moment that could prove fatal if one more horrid mistake occurs.

While the Ordeal is not the ultimate battle, it is all-important, for our protagonist and our antagonist.

Before we delve into Stage 8 a word on the rest of December. With all the hectic holiday events, The Write Focus takes December off and will resume on the first Wednesday of the New Year. Our Discovering Plot series has two more episodes to explore the last 4 stages. We’ll start the New Year and Season 5 with those.

It’s hard to believe this little podcast is entering its 5th season. Thanks to all of our listeners who keep us going!

Do stop by after Christmas for a little audio Christmas gift from our host M.A. Lee.

Now, let’s face the Ordeal.


  • 00:00 Welcome
  • 00:30 Introduction
  • 02:12 Stage 8
  • 04:09 Persuasion as an example
  • 07:10 13th Warrior as an example
  • 09:09 Antagonists
  • 11:27 Deathly Hallows as an example
  • 13:07 Key Juxtapositions
  • 15:05 Last Words / Closing

Total Run Time = 16:47

Examples from Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Michael Crichton’s 13th Warrior, and JK Rowling’s Deathly Hallows

 Links to the Ebook

Links to a paperback 8 x 10 bundle for plot / characters / branding / sentence craft, called Discovering Your Writing


Direct Link to the Audio

Direct Link to the Video Playlist

Direct Link to the Blog 

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