A crusty veteran of an interstellar war just wants to spend his retirement in peace. A notorious space pirate accuses him of stealing an alien artifact. He’s got 72 hours to turn it over, or he’ll kill the grandson he never knew he had.
I dare to argue that most people want to spend their lives in peace. So perhaps:
When a crusty interstellar war veteran is accused of stealing an alien artefact, he must turn it over or his grandson will die.
Including the fact that he didn’t know he had a grandson complicates the plot (that’s good), but it also somewhat lessens the stakes, I think.
Also, it seems to me that the veteran actually has two options: “must find the artifact and turn it over” or “defeat the pirate”.
Perhaps there is a Mid Point Reversal (MPR), and he must first find the artefact, BUT when something else happens, THEN his only option is to defeat the pirate.
What do you think?
Good point about most people wanting peace. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that he’s a loner and wants to keep to himself.
I’ve just started brainstorming this idea, and haven’t nailed down all the details, yet. I haven’t filled in all the beats on the beat sheet, just the beginning, middle, and end, plus Theme Stated.
I listened to the latest episode of ScriptNotes Podcast the other day, where Craig Mazin goes over his views on screenplay structure, using Finding Nemo as an example. Basically, I’m onboard with the MPR bit.
One thing I didn’t include in the logline, to keep it short(er), was that an old friend, another veteran, turns up early on and is the one who tells the protagonist about the pirate and the ultimatum. I’m thinking the Midpoint Reversal is that the protagonist finds the artifact but the old “Friend” comes along and takes it from him because he set it all up so that the protagonist would lead him to it. The Protagonist then has to defeat the pirate and the “friend” who’s working with the pirate. It was also because the “friend” was so unreliable that the Protagonist wanted to keep to himself in the first place.