Seven Parts of White Collar

So I think y'all know that I've been using Dan Wells' seven-part story structure. And yes, I'm loving it.

Dan has an epic slide on his PowerPoint where he divides The Matrix into seven-parts four times. One for the plot, one for Neo (the MC), one for Neo's romance with Trinity, and one for Cypher's betrayal. It's a beautiful thing. I can pretty much sit there and marvel all day long. {Download his PowerPoint on his site - free - and you'll see what I mean.} But here's the thing, I'm trying to do it with my own WiP.

I have a character arc, and a romance arc. Still a little shy of the betrayal arc, but it's the plot arc that's been bothering me. I've sat there and pulled my hair out, trying to figure out what goes where and how and when and omgosh, I'm going to die. And after some serious frustration and annoyance with Dan Well's epic Matrix outline, I declared, "It can't be that easy." I know in theory that every good story follows this - I've known this inherently for some while - but I didn't think it was really that easy to map it out.

I decided to make a seven-part outline for the last thing I'd watched, which so happened to be White Collar...which shouldn't surprise you. {I chose Season 1, Episode 8, which, if you were going to watch, you've probably already seen, since Season 4 comes out in just over a month. But if you haven't, I've done my best to keep it free of any major spoilers.}

It took me less than 15 minutes to make the following:
  • Hook (sad, boring life): Mozzie accurately compares Neal to a pawn.
  • Plot Turn 1 (call to adventure): The case is brought to Peter's attention.
    • {I think in any crime show, this would always be Plot Turn 1. Just a thought.}
  • Pinch 1 (bad guys attack): Neal discovers some incriminating evidence against Peter.
  • Midpoint (reaction --> action): Peter, Neal, and other FBI Agents create a plan to get the villain's data.
  • Pinch 2 (bad guys "win"): Neal and Peter are discovered and trapped with minutes to live.
  • Plot Turn 2 (the power is in you): Neal decides to trust Peter and tells him so.
  • Resolution (hero defeats villain): Neal accurately - and prophetically - compares himself to a chess knight.
{Those little parenthetical statements will make a lot more sense if you've watched Dan Wells' videos.}

The fact that this worked so easily made me both impressed with White Collar (even more)...and annoyed that it really is that easy. But the more examples I have, the better.

Have you ever mapped out a popular book or movie (or TV show)? Do tell...

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