October 5th, 2011

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 6.18: The Hollywood Formula

Writing Excuses 6.18: The Hollywood Formula

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/10/02/writing-excuses-6-18-hollywood-formula/

Key points: The Hollywood formula starts with three characters: the protagonist, antagonist, and relationship or dynamic character. Protagonist must want something concrete, a definite achievable goal. Antagonist places obstacles in the path of the protagonist and is diametrically opposed to the protagonist. The antagonist is not necessarily a bad guy. Relationship character accompanies the protagonist on the journey, articulates the theme, and in the end reconciles the protagonist and antagonist. First act (30 pages) introduces the characters and what they want, poses the fateful decision, and closes. Second act (60 pages): transition from asking questions to answering questions, and ends with the low point. Third act (30 pages) is the final battle. End with the protagonist achieves his goal, defeats the antagonist, and reconciles with the relationship character. The closer all three events are to each other, the stronger the emotional impact.
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[Howard] Very cool. All right, well, we are pretty much all the way out of time. Who wants to throw a writing prompt?
[Mary] So, for your writing prompt, come up with a protagonist, an antagonist, and a relationship character. Then see what happens if you start spinning a story.
[Howard] Excellent. You are out of excuses. Now go write.

[Edited 10/30/2013 to give the right name: Paolo Bacigalupi]