Mindmap - Essential Elements Of A Great Story

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1. Character (Hero/Protagonist)

A universal prescription for how we should ALL live our lives However you want your audience to change, that is how your hero must change.

Story Foundation


2. Desire/Goal (Clear & Specific Visible Goal)

3. Conflict (Insurmountable Obstacles)

The vivid "after" picture of the hero's new life after achieving the visible goal. Doesn't have to be YOU.

The hero's reward for completing the journey. 11. AFTERMATH

Show your buyers the life they can be living after using your product.

Could be a person your product has helped.

The person we're rooting for. 1. HERO We want them to succeed.

Should MATCH the new life your audience wants to be living or to achieve.

Has the POTENTIAL to become "heroic".

What the audience has been waiting to see. Painting the BEFORE picture of the hero.

Show your hero crossing the "finish line".

The moment your hero achieves the visible goal.


Your hero much be victorious.

His everyday life before the journey begins.

Story is not yet over... Must create EMPATHY for the hero.

The hero's ARC. The hero moves from IDENTITY (living in fear) to ESSENCE (living courageously).


Hero stops asking "How can I not be afraid?" and instead asks "Am I willing to be afraid?"

Must create a psychological "connection" between reader (audience) and hero.

1. Sympathy

Victim of some underserved misfortune.

2. Jeopardy

Danger of loss of something important to the hero (doesn't have to be physical danger).

3. Likability (generosity of character) Often comes after major setback, retreat into IDENTITY, and moment of enlightenment from another character

Michael Hauge's Essential Elements of a Great Story

An event that has never happened to your hero before, that gets the story moving.

Bad (a crisis)

4. OPPORTUNITY Reflection

Aligned with the hero.

This first new event of the story propels the hero into a "new situation"...


In opposition to the hero.


Object of hero’s desire.


Anticipate the objections, problems and setbacks your buyer (audience) might encounter.

Hero must adjust to this new world. ASKS...

THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF EMOTION - desire alone is not enough; the goal is only there to move the story forward).

How do I survive/thrive? Hero formulates their Visible Goal/ Outer Motivation

"Visible" obstacles

6. PURSUIT (action)

Invisible - exists WITHIN the character 7. CONFLICT

BELIEF - false but logical conclusion about the cause of the wound FEAR - Emotional fear that the wound will occur again IDENTITY - The false self we present to the world/our emotional armor to protect us from our fears ESSENCE - our truth beneath our emotional protection; who we have the potential to become

The tug-of-war between IDENTITY and ESSENCE


How do I survive/thrive?

Hero begins pursuing the visible goal (outer motivation)


WOUND - pain from the past

What is expected of me? Do I really want this?


Comes from other characters (competitors; nay-sayers) or forces of nature (accidents; disasters; diseases)

What is this new place? What are the rules?

May have one, two or all three of these. The bigger the obstacles the greater the emotional involvement of the reader (audience).

Good (a gift) OR...

Hero devises a PLAN to achieve that goal.

Example: Starts to use your product. The "plan" could be the steps your product teaches to achieve a desired outcome.


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