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  • #16
    What about a character who is pushed into a situation not of his own making? That's hardly a character who wants something, yet the situation certainly represents conflict or at the very least, conflictedness.
    That's exactly what happens to Shrek in Shrek 1. That's also what happens to almost every protag in any horror film, or thriller for that matter. Survival, wanting to live, is a most basic want. The inciting incident is an external event thrust upon the main character that disrupts his life and gives him a goal. It puts him into conflict with his world, and ultimately forces him to act.

    Classic tragedy has a shape and form very much like your typical Hollywood film. The only difference is that the main character can't or won't change until it's too late. That's what dooms him to failure. And while tragedies may not be a Hollywood mainstay, they win their share of Academy Awards.


    • #17
      This is a pretty good discussion of some issues in screenwriting. I am moving it from "Basics" over to "Screenwriting".


      • #18
        My observation: Non genre, non Hollywood films, do make it all the time -- And they do so in Hollywood. (Or at least are distributed by Hollywood.)

        The difference is that they are a hard sell, difficult to do well, easy to screw up and lose a lot of money: A new screenwriter should not attempt to break in with one.

        Develop a track record, prove you can handle the basics, and then someone will listen to your "off the wall" idea.

        Or to put it this way: Do you really want to climb Mount Everest with a partner who has never scaled a lesser mountain?