Monday, April 15, 2013

The Spine - Protagonist vs Antagonist

Part of the Story Engine.

The protagonist and antagonist battle is the main plot. The spine Plot. Though it may not have the most screen time. 

A note the antagonist often has representatives that act for them and do what they would do and effectively are the antagonist as well. But there is still only one main antagonist. 

Example: in Star Wars the emperor is the ultimate antagonist but darth vador represents him for most of the story. 

At the core of the story there needs to be:

Only 1 main Protagonist with a goal.
Only 1 main Antagonist with a goal that irreconcilably opposes the protagonists goal.

A crucible:
A situation, set of circumstances, or reason why the two opponents cannot by any means just walk away from the fight. They are hopeless bound to each other in conflict.
The Reason can be a circumstance, A physical boundary, Or that fact that the two opponents simply refuse to let go.

1 main dramatic question which is:
Will the (protagonist) get the (goal) or will the (antagonist) thwart the (protagonist)?



Protagonist VS Antagonist Story Elements
These are the most critical moments in a the story. There are key moments in the fight between the Protagonist and the antagonist:

CROSS SWORDS
The Protagonist and the Antagonist (or a representative of the antagonist) first interact. They learn that they have opposing goals. They can still step away from the contest but their struggle has begun. This happens in the first act.

SET UP POTENTIAL FIGHT
This is when the protagonist and antagonist(or a representative of the antagonist) cross each other so neither can step out of the contest. They must at this point duke it out at some point. This happens in act 2A.

FALSE DEFEAT
The Antagonist "wins" temporarily in act 2B.

TOUCH OFF FIGHT TO THE FINISH
Early act 3 the protagonist wages war on the Antagonist and this soon leads to the fight to the finish.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH
The final desperate fight between the protagonist and the antagoist where they make their last stand for their goals. This is what the whole story builds up to. This is the end to keep in mind when developing and writing a story.

This is one scene one set of acts with a definite result. It is your money scene.

RESOLUTION
The outcome of the fight to the finish. 
Caused by protagonist for better or worse.
For more information see “Writing a Great Movie”  by Jeff Kitchen
NOTE: Conflicts for each act. 

Each of the 4 acts is united by one clear goal of the protagonist that has a beg and an end and leads to the ultimate goal. 

(example of the ultimate goal vs act goals. 
Say the character's ultimate goal is to be loved. act 1 may be to find a person to love. act 2a may be to get with that person. Act 2b may be to get away from that person because they were terrible. then act 3 may be to be with the friend who they betrayed in the process but who loved them all along.)

The Crucible (what binds the protag and antag together no mater what):

Set Up Potential Conflict (when the antag and protag become aware of their differing interests, they can see possibly walk away from the fight though):

Crossing of swords (when the antag and protag actively start their rivalry):

Touch off Fight to the Finish (when the final fight starts)

Fight to the Finish (the last desperate struggle. Example is the last fight scene between the bad guy and jake in avatar)

Resolution (how the fight turns out): 
-

________Protagonist and Antagonist Conflict Template_______
1 main Protagonist:
 
Ultimate Goal of movie: 
 
Conflict standing in way

1 main Antagonist:
 
Ultimate Goal of movie:
 
Conflict standing in way

The Crucible:

1 main dramatic question which is:



Act 1 Conflict
Protag Goal:

At the beg: 

At the End: 


Antag Goal:

At the Beg:

End: 

Set Up Potential Conflict:


Act 2A Conflict
Protag Goal:

At the beg: 

At the End:

midpoint/False victory for protag:


Antag Goal:

At the Beg:
End: 

Crossing of swords:


Act 2B Conflict
Protag Goal:

At the beg:

At the End:


Antag Goal:

At the Beg:

End: 

Antagonist Wins (after crisis):

Act 3 Conflict
Protag Goal:

At the beg:

At the End:


Antag Goal:

At the Beg:

End


Touch off Fight to the Finish:

Fight to the Finish:

Resolution:




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