What's the difference between a Hurdle and the main Conflict?
Martin Beebee asked: So how would you distinguish between a "hurdle" and the main "conflict" in the story? Are hurdles simply mini-conflicts to keep up the momentum on the way to addressing the central conflict?
Conflict is the obstacle that's block the Heart from reaching her Desire. Hurdles arise only after the Heart has decided to try and overcome that Conflict. They are additional setbacks then that arise between the Acceptance and the Answer. Hurdles appear because of the Hearts's journey to try and overcome his Conflict.
For example, in our film Soar with Dave Jacka, Dave is a man who became quadriplegic in a motorcycle accident at 19. His Desire then is to regain a sense of independence and freedom through learning to fly a plane.
What threatens to block Dave from reaching that Desire then is himself. On a very literal level, his own physical disability is an impediment to being able to fly that plane and feel independent. But on a deeper level, so is his own beliefs about himself. This is his Conflict then, Man vs. Self.
As Dave accepts this journey, after he starts to try and overcome his disabilities and mindset, additional setbacks then start to appear. When he tries to get an instructor to teach him to fly, he initially gets rejected because the instructors don't want to take on that risk. And that becomes a Hurdle he must overcome. The plane also wasn't designed for quadriplegic pilots. So another Hurdle then was that he had to go to school and learn how to modify the plane himself.