After having the basic understanding of the plot structure and the basic elements, be assured that you can start your start from anywhere.

The simple litmus test for a story is to check the following questions – provided you have an idea or a character or a beginning or an end.

  1. Who would consider the situation to be their worst nightmare?
  2. What could be the worst nightmare/dream of your main character?
  3. What might have happened just before the scene to trigger this reaction?
  4. What would happen just after the scene?
  5. How could it turn out to be the best/worst thing that ever happened to your character?
  6. What is your character’s attitude towards Marlowe’s seven needs or personality traits and how he/she behaves and react towards each level?

So, it is as simple as that. You juggle with these elements and decide which fits the best and where.


  1. Choose a film and do the plot break down (situation, objective, opponent, disaster). Afterward, breakdown the dynamics (goal, conflict, disaster, reaction, dilemma, decision).

Describe your characters on each of the 7 levels of Marlowe’s hierarchy of needs model.

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