2-2: Raising the Stakes (SF)

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

Key Points

Setting and Raising the Stakes

  • Stakes: The consequences for your characters not reaching their goals
  • Define what the stakes for your characters are: in other words, what will happen to them if they don’t reach their goals?
  • Raising the stakes: make bigger consequences, make it personal, add a ticking clock
  • Define series “hooks” – cliffhangers at the end of each episode that make audiences want to watch the next episode


  • Raise the stakes for each character.
  • Make every episode end with a hook.

Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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