beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,
beccaelizabeth
beccaelizabeth

I'm reading a thing from an actual screenwriter dude and it's increasingly bugging me
and I was trying to work out why
because it's first glance uncontroversial to say a protagonist should have both global and personal stakes.
Thing explains personal stakes are what make the audience emotionally connect, because easy to understand one small story and systems level is difficult.

But then I read the examples
and it's like
hero can't just hero because hero.
Cannot just do good because doing good is good to do.
Cannot just decide that if nothing we do matters then the only thing that matters is what we do.
Kindness is never its own reason.

To give them personal stakes the way this professional screenwriter is suggesting means the protagonist isn't doing things to help the world except coincidentally as a way of helping people he cares about.

And if this is dominant common sense for screenwriters then suddenly I understand why they keep making everyone Batman, because dead parents are the damsel you can never save.
Give them a living personal stake and the story gets stuck with a finite goal or a repetitive one. Give them relatable issues about the one they failed to save, and everything is personal forever, but never actually resolved.


So. Problem. Personal is not the same as important and making all the heroes only care because they're already involved makes them very small.
Plus the go to way of doing so involves fridging people a lot.

xposted from Dreamwidth here. comment count unavailable comments. Reply there
Tags: meta, writing
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