To write a great script, you must create a gripping protagonist. And to write a gripping protagonist, you must know the character as well as you know yourself.
A protagonist (a.k.a. hero) will guide us through their story and, in turn, will take us on their journey. Whether it be a classic hero (Robin Hood) or an anti-hero (Michael Corleone from The Godfather), it’s always the hero’s story we are watching.
The hero of my story is Flynn. And just like all of the heroes throughout the millennia, Flynn must go on a journey….
….that has a beginning, middle and end. In other words, Three Acts.
For now, let’s just talk about the very beginning of the protagonist’s journey.
In my script, I introduce Flynn in my opening scene. The scene where some heavy s**t goes down. Then, I change the rhythm a bit by showing you his “universe.” Where he works. Where he lives. Who he cares for. And I am not showing these things for the sake of showing them. They all provide pertinent background for the impending life-altering dilemma that Flynn will face. The purpose of these scenes is to make you sympathetic to Flynn, and his plight.
After I’ve introduced Flynn and the “universe” in which he exists, I move on to the inciting incident. This is the crucial part of the screenplay where the hero’s life is shaken to the core. Something has happened that will change the course of Flynn’s life forever.
Flynn initially refuses to accept what he must do, and what must be done. But if the story is to continue…Flynn must embrace the change and accept the call to adventure.
In my next post, we will discuss the remainder of Act I.
Thanks for reading!
Great post again!
When the president of the Library Foundation joined us for the women’s lunch, he said that there are only two types of stories; 1) someone goes on a journey; 2) a stranger comes to town…
Ellen F. Hotter
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