moses997Mentor Posted: August 1, 20172017-08-01T19:34:58+10:00 2017-08-01T19:34:58+10:00In: ExamplesHow to write a story with multiple protagonists. How to write a story with multiple protagonists. ShareFacebook6 ReviewsVotedOldestRecentFoxtrot25 11 Loglines 534 Reviews 98 Best Reviews 17,373 Points View Profile Foxtrot25 Uberwriter 2017-08-02T03:04:02+10:00Added an answer on August 2, 2017 at 3:04 am I see no reason why you couldn’t fill a script with multiple protagonists and still effectively tell a story that interconnects each character and arcs them within the traditional curve. This is hard enough to do with 1 protag, let alone multiple, so perhaps beginners should not attempt this.Where I see a problem is in the promotional department. You know, after the story is written and you need to pitch the project. Someone will ask you who is the main protagonist and who’s eyes are this story being told through. What techniques will the camera explore to convey the emotions of the MC or main protag?In other words, if someone buys your script to produce, who’s the a-list actor or director they will lure into the project and why will it be perfect for that actor’s talents? The a-list talent is what gets a project off the ground.In an ideal world, the people with loads of money and the talent to make a major film will look at a script as a blank project and then drop talent where it’s needed. More than not, they have their people pool to pick from and want a script where they can drop the talent into and to do this, they need to be certain it will work.It’s the writers job to quickly communicate and sell their work, not just write it and believe it will sell itself. So ask yourself, who’s gonna want to play your multiple roles and which one is the best role? Write the story centered around that one person.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppdpg 105 Loglines 5,558 Reviews 559 Best Reviews 111,953 Points View Profile dpg Singularity 2017-08-02T04:05:27+10:00Added an answer on August 2, 2017 at 4:05 am Thanks for the thoughts and links, Moses99, on plots with multiple characters and parallel story lines.I have come to understand that there is a place in the media marketplace for multiple protagonist and tandem plot lines.A place — but not necessarily a big one. ?And not an easy one to sell in.I see it as a matter of fundamental psycho-dynamics. the audience’s interaction with drama. To wit, it’s easier for an audience to attend to one primary story line and become emotionally invested in one primary character than to divide ?attention and ?spread emotional investment among several story lines and characters.Linda Aranson cites Shakespeare’s plays as examples that honor Aristotle’s dictum of unity of plot and character more in the breach than the observance. ?But the one she cites are his comedies. ?Which is one genre where there is more latitude when the story is more about the theme of human folly and foolishness in general. ?(Which Shakespeare’s comedies are which is why they bear the titles of the situation or theme rather than of a main character. )But Shakespeare’s tragedies ?(and histories) are about human folly (or virtue) in particular, the rise or fall of specific characters. ?And they bear the title of the main character, the protagonist (“Hamlet”, “Macbeth”) or of dual, star-crossed protagonists (“Romeo and Juliet”, “Antony and Cleopatra”). ?By way of comparison the comedies about a particular set of characters still don’t have their names in the titles. ?It’s “Two Gentlemen from Verona” not “Valentine and Proteus”.What we know as Aristotle’s Poetics is a discussion of Greek tragedy. ? And only Greek tragedy. ?Aristotle is supposed to have also discussed Greek comedy in his treatise as a different genre where different methods and rules may have applied. ?Alas, that portion of his treatise has been lost.My point is that while Aristotle’s paradigm for tragedy may not a good fit for Shakespeare’s comedies, the paradigm is still valid for his histories and tragedies.?fwiw0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppDkpough1 11 Loglines 511 Reviews 70 Best Reviews 18,091 Points View Profile Dkpough1 Uberwriter 2017-08-02T06:46:43+10:00Added an answer on August 2, 2017 at 6:46 am The first thing I’ll say is to write the story you want to write. As both a novel and screenplay writer, that’s the most important thing I’ve learned that applies to any medium. It’s a little different for screenplays because they have a lot more expectations and standards, but within those standards, write the story you want to tell. Chances are that even if your script is produced, it won’t be the same by the time it’s being shot. ?And going along with that, know who to pitch to. If your idea doesn’t really fit as a fun summer blockbuster, don’t try to make it one.On to characters. A mistake I see from people is that they don’t give every character a goal. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, every character having a goal creates conflict, tension, obstacles. Captain America: Civil War does a great job of this. With such a huge cast of characters, each has their own motivation and goal that forms their opinions and the actions they take.Lessons From the Screenplay, which I’ve brought up a few times, has a great video essay discussing character and it discusses how American Beauty has multiple, compelling characters. It does this by having all of the characters be a variation of the theme. For another of the channel’s video essays on character, here’s one which discusses how to make a compelling antagonist, using Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight to analyze. In contrast, DC’s Batman v Superman movie doesn’t make its characters compelling. The motivations are either unclear or illogical, and the characters don’t change at all due to their goals and the events of the plot. Here’s another video essay discussing why the first three DC films in their connected universe don’t use these iconic characters effectively.On having multiple prominent characters: I think having a single goal which drives the story is important. The goal from which all other characters’ goals stem from. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that character has to be central character. By that I mean, I define protagonist and Main Character as two different things. Protagonist is the one with the primary goal of the story, and the Main character is the character who we see the story through. Think of Great Gatsby or To Kill A Mockingbird. Nick Carraway’s story and goal stem from Gatsby’s. Scout’s goal and story stem from Atticus’s. Even though the books are narrated by Nick and Scout, and they each have their own goals, they don’t drive the main conflict.Using multiple characters can be done well, and effectively used to explore a theme, but it just takes some work. Those are my thoughts and some resources I use to learn more about storytelling.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppmoses997 97 Loglines 243 Reviews 7 Best Reviews 7,866 Points View Profile moses997 Mentor 2017-08-02T17:27:28+10:00Added an answer on August 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm dpg: I’m a sucker for Shakespeare and you brought up some interesting points regarding his stories. To me, he is the master of story in the same way that Hitchcock is the master of film. In particular, I’m a fan of?A Midsummer Night’s Dream?and use that almost as a (very rough, skeleton-like) template for some of my tandem narratives, so it’s fascinating that you brought him up. Thank you for your points.Dkpugh1: It is hard work, but not all that much more than writing a regular screenplay. But, I often find myself writing tandem narratives because it’s what I find most interesting to watch and write. I find it much more compelling to have multiple characters all arcing and developed than just one with a few semi-interesting supporting characters (and often supporting characters are comic relief and much more interesting than the angst-ridden leads) which allows for a lot of creativity and variety. Although, I much prefer something like?Dazed and Confused?where the characters are all intertwining in a close proximity of each other than?Love Actually?which is a lot more desperate. ?Thanks.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppDkpough1 11 Loglines 511 Reviews 70 Best Reviews 18,091 Points View Profile Dkpough1 Uberwriter 2017-08-03T01:56:30+10:00Added an answer on August 3, 2017 at 1:56 am I just found a blog?that says it has?screenwriting advice from Vince Gilligan. The advice is sound, and one in particular that goes along with what I said in my first post: Trust the story. In other words, don’t worry about what’s popular, what everyone else is doing, write the story how you think it should be written.0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppvariable 42 Loglines 337 Reviews 51 Best Reviews 18,469 Points View Profile variable Uberwriter 2018-04-20T18:39:33+10:00Added an answer on April 20, 2018 at 6:39 pm One way would be to give them different internal goals for the same external goalPS. great thread and links0 Share ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on WhatsAppYou must login to can add an answer. Username or email* Password* Remember Me! Forgot Password?