After training as a knight, a young man embarks on a quest to rescue his family from an invading army. However, when his kingdom is on the brink of collapse, he must choose between his own personal goals and those of his new Order's.
A dramatic dilemma is a good thing to have in a story. But when I’m try to map the beats of the logline to the story line, I’m not sure when the main character becomes ensnared in the horns of his dilemma. I’m not sure what the story is really about.
“After training as a knight” — is this backstory or the setup?
“A young man embarks on a quest to rescue his family from an invading army.” — This would seem to the an end of Act 1 decision as a result of the inciting incident, the invasion.
“However, when his kingdom is on the brink of collapse” — When does this complication, this reversal of fortune occur? About midway through the 2nd Act? Or earlier?
“He must choose between his own personal goals and those of his new Order’s.” — The dilemma, and a good one. But how long is it going to take for him to choose? Five page-minutes? Ten? Fifteen? Thirty? Is the whole plot about him finally making up his mind? Or is it the culmination of the crisis that has been developing since the inciting incident of the invasion?
Richiev’s version is an improvement, but I’m still confused as to what is the plot of the story that constitutes the 2nd Act?
And what are the stakes? It’s obvious what the downside may be if he obeys the Order — his family may perish? But what’s the downside of disobeying the Order (besides, perhaps, a guilty conscience)?
It seems to me that his objective goal is to save his family after the invasion. Period. All the other incidents are complications to achieving that overarching goal.
So, maybe something like:
When a medieval kingdom is invaded, a rookie knight must break the vows of his Order and battle his way through the enemy ranks to save his family.
The young man embarking on the quest is the result of the invasion.
The training as a knight is the first step in his quest.
The kingdom is on the brink midway through.
The decision is the culmination of the crisis.
The stakes are either that his family dies or the kingdom suffers (won’t go into details here).
Thank you for your input!