So I've been discussing some lessons I learned from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Here is another plotting tool/technique/method that hit me right in the gut--if done right, it can be really powerful emotionally for your audience. But this post does contain a spoiler, so if you plan on actually watching or reading Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, you'll want to finish it before you read this.
Alright, so I mentioned last Monday that one of the main characters, Alphonse, doesn't have a body. The laws of alchemy require equivalent exchange--you give something to gain something. One of the things Al gave up accidentally during an alchemical transaction was his own body. Ed is missing an arm and a leg. The protagonists' goals for the whole story is to get their bodies back to normal. It's a quest they've been on for years. It's a quest we go on with them for over 60 episodes. They scour the field of alchemy to find a way to do it.