The secret universal force
We’ve all been there … trapped in a situation or predicament, barely hanging on. We’re so tired, that we don’t think we can stand it another second. The only problem is, we’re stuck. And someone coming to save us? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. We’re ready to give up/give in, but some small part of us can’t and won’t. That small voice grows and morphs into a hurricane force of determination that seizes control of the situation/predicament and kicks our butt clean out of the miserable situation/predicament.
That, my friends, is the Positive Power of Desperation in action. Get to know it. It is your friend.
Desperation Transformation … Zero to Hero
The Positive Power of Desperation is as essential to your protagonist as it is to you. This is the secret force that pushes your main character to transform into the heroine she is meant to be.
Blake Snyder (Mr. Save the Cat!) gives a nod to the Positive Power of Desperation when he describes the Dark Night of the Soul moment in a story (Blake Snyder Beat Sheet). The protagonist is worse off than when the story started, plagued with confusion, doubt, and remorse. It’s a scary and painful place. The protagonist is standing on a precipice, and must face an ugly truth about themselves–a deeply buried flaw–for their transformation to happen. The Positive Power of Desperation is what propels the hero through his cocoon, transforming him into a butterfly. This is the heart of every story … what really counts. It’s the hero’s moment.
In the Hunger Games, the All Is Lost moment comes with Rue’s death. Katniss bottoms out in the Dark Night of the Soul as when prepares Rues body and sings her a parting song. Katniss has to face how she’s lived her life being satisfied with mere survival. At the end of her song to Rue, Katniss lifts her hand in a signal of defiance. She’s done playing by the Capitol’s rules and she’s not afraid to show it. In the words of Master Cat, Jessica Brody, in her Hunger Games Beat Sheet:
She turns to the sky and lifts three fingers upward, a symbol that was established earlier during the catalyst moment as an act of defiance. Katniss’s transformation from survival-obsessed girl who will do anything to win, to the leader of a revolution is nearly complete!
How has the Positive Power of Desperation transformed your life…
Or the lives of your charcaters?