What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

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  • What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

    I'm at a point of my outline where I can start writing the script. I start of by making the protag. greedy. An assasin who gets boat loads of money. But by the inciting incident, because of greed, he kills his wife, but not intentionally. At this point, will it be believable if he only slows down and gradually quit being an assasin? Or does he automatically stop because of trauma? Bare in mind that after his wife dies, 10 years pass. Is 10 years enough to get over killing your wife? Complication: Would you turn down a 200 million dollar deal if it fell on your lap?

  • #2
    Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

    My protagonist fulfils his arc atfer the lesson is already learnt and because of that he loses everything. So although his arc did complete it was not within the invisible countdown for which it needed to occur.

    So what I am trying to say is that I don't believe the character needs to change but because of this inability to change something negative must happen to them.

    I'm at a point of my outline where I can start writing the script.
    This post seems to suggest quite the opposite - you are not ready to start writing the script.

    Is 10 years enough to get over killing your wife? For an ordinary person I would say NO. But for an assassin who has serious moral dilemma's then who knows...MAYBE.

    Bare in mind that after his wife dies, 10 years pass.
    Are you saying that your first act is all backstory?

    Is Act 2 all about this big 200 million dollar deal? $200m seems alot for an assasination.

    I don't have enough information here to understand the story. Tell us how it is going to unfold in clearer terms.

    I wanna tell you about the time I almost died....

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    • #3
      Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

      Originally posted by Angeloworx
      I'm at a point of my outline where I can start writing the script. I start of by making the protag. greedy. An assasin who gets boat loads of money. But by the inciting incident, because of greed, he kills his wife, but not intentionally. At this point, will it be believable if he only slows down and gradually quit being an assasin? Or does he automatically stop because of trauma? Bare in mind that after his wife dies, 10 years pass. Is 10 years enough to get over killing your wife? Complication: Would you turn down a 200 million dollar deal if it fell on your lap?
      Watch Shohei Imamura's "The Eel". A man wildly kills his wife and after years in prison, he want to change his life.

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      • #4
        Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

        From what you've said, it doesn't sound to me like you have yet outlined enough to write a coherent story about a killer who did something that makes him want to change.

        You are writing a movie to make the audience feel a certain way. Most, but not all, movies try to show us we can redeem ourselves so we go out of the theater feeling better about humanity. Having your character kill less often does not, to me, show he was really affected by what he did. Having him not kill is better, but he needs to be doing something else we can watch -- struggling to do something to try to make up for what he did.

        Study movies about killers who try to make new lives for themselves. A History of Violence is one, and there are Westerns about that, too. Study how such stories are written, and how they make you feel. You might get ideas about how to handle your story more effectively.

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        • #5
          Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

          Yeah, you need to study some of the hundreds of movies that cover this same topic: can a killer change?


          Unforgiven is another good one to watch, because the answer there is no. Assasain scripts are like Vampire scripts, there are a 100 for every breath you take.

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          • #6
            Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

            Originally posted by whistlelock
            Yeah, you need to study some of the hundreds of movies that cover this same topic: can a killer change?


            Unforgiven is another good one to watch, because the answer there is no. Assasain scripts are like Vampire scripts, there are a 100 for every breath you take.
            I'd say that Unforgiven has a negative arc for the Eastwood character. At the start of the film, he's a nice guy that doesn't want to kill anyone. But the last thing he says is that he'll kill everyone in town if he has to. That's stated right after he wipes out a room full of dudes.

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            • #7
              Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

              Is 10 years enough to get over killing your wife?
              HELLS YES!


              Sorry, couldn't resist.


              BTN
              "Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.-
              -Chekhov

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              • #8
                Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

                Thanks for the comments. TATAM:
                This post seems to suggest quite the opposite - you are not ready to start writing the script.
                I know it seems discombobulated from your POV and rightly so. At this point, I only needed to address the issue of change.
                So what I am trying to say is that I don't believe the character needs to change but because of this inability to change something negative must happen to them.
                You have reinforced my plot. To reiterate your statement, because of the inability, another bad thing must happen, soemthing worse (in his POV) which will ultimately cause the change. Right? Right.
                I don't have enough information here to understand the story. Tell us how it is going to unfold in clearer terms.
                Soon enough, I can post some pages or the logline again. I think the logline is the more appropriate time to address story questions. BUt thank you nevertheless.
                Have been watching a bunch of movies and read a couple of scripts within the genre. Need to do some more. I compare my protag to Dirty Harry. He doesn't change much.

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                • #9
                  Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

                  But by the inciting incident, because of greed, he kills his wife, but not intentionally. At this point, will it be believable if he only slows down and gradually quit being an assasin? Or does he automatically stop because of trauma?

                  I'd believe it if he stopped. One, the guilt, and two, he already has boatloads of money, so he doesn't have to work any more, unlike the rest of us. How do you "slow down and gradually quit being an assassin"? You either kill people or you don't kill people, there's no in-between.

                  Bare in mind that after his wife dies, 10 years pass. Is 10 years enough to get over killing your wife?

                  Depends on your character, whom you don't seem to know. Are you sure you're ready to write this script? I don't think you've finished writing the outline yet.

                  Complication: Would you turn down a 200 million dollar deal if it fell on your lap?

                  If I didn't need 200 million dollars, yes I'd turn it down. What leverage does the person offering this incredible sum have over your character? Does he threaten to expose his past? To make him a target for those pissed off with his previous kills? And, who on earth is he being paid to kill this time, who could possibly be worth this much dead? (There's only one target I can think of... but hopefully the next election will see him gone.)

                  -Derek
                  -> * <- Click on this magic star to be transported to my website. Ruby slippers optional.
                  ________________________________________________
                  The practice of art isn't to make a living. It's to make your soul grow. ~The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing (Kurt Vonnegut)

                  3-page writing challenge coming up in January.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What happens if the protag. doesn't change?

                    I'd believe it if he stopped. One, the guilt, and two, he already has boatloads of money, so he doesn't have to work any more, unlike the rest of us. How do you "slow down and gradually quit being an assassin"? You either kill people or you don't kill people, there's no in-between.
                    Good point. I misused the occupation. He's an ex-Secret Service, his position was a sniper/shooter. Still, I get your point. Something to chew on.
                    And, who on earth is he being paid to kill this time, who could possibly be worth this much dead? (There's only one target I can think of... but hopefully the next election will see him gone.)
                    You're getting the idea...
                    Thanks for the comments. It helps, believe me.

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