Sunday, June 09, 2013

How To Structure a Story Around a Large Problem, Step 5: The Hero Commits

Two in one day!
The Conventional Wisdom:
  • Again, this isn’t controversial. This is the moment the beginning ends and the middle begins. 
What Human Nature Says
  • “Eighty percent of success is showing up” –Woody Allen. 
What Writers Should Keep in Mind:
  • It’s easy to over-emphasize the commitment scene.  It’s okay for heroes to be knee-deep before they realize that they’re committed.  Bruce Willis spends the entire first half of Die Hard just trying to call the cops, not realizing that he’s already pretty much committed himself to taking down the bad guys single-handedly.  
Other Examples of Commitment:
  • Sometimes, it’s possible skip over the actual commitment scene, jump-cutting right from hesitation to the conflict after committing: In Some Like It Hot, they’re mid-debate, when we suddenly cut to the two of them wobbling down the train platform in heels.
Notable Exceptions (But Don’t Try This At Home):
  • None! This happens in every story about a large problem.
Next: Commitment Causes Unexpected Conflict...

1 comment:

Lisa Medley said...

Love it! A fresh perspective on an old problem :) Keep up the good work.