Can you have more than one Hurdle in a story?
Ryan Simmons asked: Can you have more than one hurdle in a story? I would assume yes, but curious to know if there is a reason to have more or less.
In one word—yes.
But let's chat about some of those points you're looking for to also consider when choosing which Hurdle—or how many Hurdles—to include.
When we're mapping out our story's plot structure, we're creating an emotional arc for our viewer. The beginning and middle should build an emotional crescendo, the transition between middle and ending should offer an emotional peak, which then sets up an ending giving the viewer an opportunity to feel the impact (and be moved.)
A Hurdle, then, is meant to help with the rise in emotion and anticipation—to help the viewer feel the impact more deeply in the end.
So first, I'd simply reiterate how important it is that any Hurdle(s) you choose are relevant to the Conflict. They should be helping to move the viewer up the emotional crescendo, along the same path as the Conflict—as opposed to getting sidetracked.
And speaking of getting sidetracked, we also don't want to disperse our viewer's attention or emotional energy across too many low Hurdles. If the Hurdles aren't really adding to their anticipation, if they aren't tall enough to care about, then they risk taking away from the anticipation and the final impact.