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Why Stakes Should Be Primal

By on July 20, 2018 in Podcasts, Tips and Tactics, Tools

dark_knight_hedstcpodcats_605x480pxMaster Cat Cory Milles contrasts The Dark Knight with Batman v. Superman to demonstrate the power of stakes that are personal. Give your audiences “moral questions” that they can relate to — and will care about.

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Cory Milles

About the Author

About the Author: Cory Milles has been teaching writing for over a decade. In his spare time, he writes Young Adult novels that seek to capture the power of story to transform his readers. When he’s not writing, teaching, or listening to his collection of movie scores, he can usually be found reading more on the craft of writing. He is an editor of Save the Cat!® Goes to the Indies and the author of the Young Adult novels New Miller's Grove, Legacy, Paradox and Redemption and is featured in the book LOST Thought: Leading Thinkers Discuss LOST. .

There Are 2 Comments

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  1. L. R. Farren says:


    I enjoyed your podcast. You produced an insightful analysis of both movies, but especially The Dark Knight.

    While I listened to it, a writing principle I use when crafting stories came to mind. It’s one of Lisa Cron’s 12 Hardwired Expectations Every Reader Has. In this article, she says the sixth expectation every reader has is, “The reader expects there will be something crucial at stake, continually forcing the protagonist’s hand.” The key element you brought out in your analysis of The Dark Knight is a prime example of this expectation visually met in a film.

    The Joker continually forced Batman’s hand by raising the stakes at every turn.

    I believe this is one of the elements that led to the film’s success.

    Looking forward to more Podcats.

  2. Charles Smyth says:

    A more important point of the ferries scenario , is that the choice made by Batman, at the end, was based on a false premise. The choices made by the passengers on the ferries, indicated that the public would have been able to cope with the moral change of Harvey Dent.