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The 4-Corner-Opposition Story Structure

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Plot + Structure

In this video essay, Just Write examines Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, exploring how the film uses conflict and a sophisticated four-act structure to balance big ideas and action. Through careful examination of the film's story structure, Just Write highlights the importance of irrevocable decisions in good storytelling and how contrasting values can create tension and drive the story forward.

Themes + Symbolism
Storytelling Essentials
Moral Argument
Themes + Symbolism


  • Good story structure makes a story feel propulsive, fast-paced, and engaging.
  • An act is a unit of story that ends when a character makes an irrevocable decision.
  • A movie can have as many or as few acts as it needs.
  • Batman Begins has a four-act structure.
  • Conflict is structured in a sophisticated way so that the drama is laser-focused on one battle for each act.
  • The idea of four-corner opposition means that your story writes itself when you have four distinct characters in opposition with one another.
  • The conflict should be structured in a way that each act is about one of the four areas on the chart.
  • Batman Begins uses a sophisticated moral argument as the fuel for each act in the story.
  • Fear is the main theme of Batman Begins.
  • Good storytelling is driven by irrevocable decisions and contrasting values that create tension and drive the story forward.
  • Contrasting values can create tension and drive the story forward.