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Old 02-03-2015, 10:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
I wrote an article on conflict in the stupid hours before the sun rose this morning. Steven told me to apply the same analysis to this script.

So, here I go.


A man walks down an apparently abandoned, clinical-looking corridor. He's thinking about how rich and successful he is. There's a whisper from one of the doors, and his thoughts take a turn.

This could be the hint of conflict, but it's not well executed. Considering the flashy clothes, and him referring to himself as rich in the present tense, I believe that he's still well-off.

So not only does this line not contribute to the reader's sympathy for the character, it actively turns the reader off. He's a millionaire with everything he could wish for, what's his problem?

If he lost everything through no fault of his own, on the other hand, that might change the sympathy aspect, but there's still no real conflict here, that I can see.

No biggie, though. There aren't that many comics that begin conflict right on the first page.


The MC confronts a spindly little man- someone who physically poses no threat to the MC, and seems resigned to roll over and die, in any case. The MC undresses.

Not only is there no conflict on this page, the line of dialogue above cancels out the hint of a conflict on page one (that he doesn't like what he's doing). He's saying that his "taking out the human trash" is his choice. No conflict. What if the creepy guy wasn't a rapist but some upstanding citizen who still had to be killed? That would create more conflict than what's here.


Close up of the MC's wedding ring. The MC transforms into a werewolf. The spindly man is terrified.

The wedding band has potential to present conflict, but it's wasted. There's no conflict on this page. The man poses no threat to the MC in any way. He's not proving to be an obstacle preventing the MC from reaching his goal (and that goal is pretty empty... the MC simply wants to kill off this lowlife).


Werewolf transformation completes.

No conflict here, either.


Werewolf eats spindly man and howls.

As above.

I bought the horror anthology "In The Dark". There's a werewolf story, called "Set Me Free" (but Jody Leheup and Dalibor Talajic) that ends with a werewolf transformation and hapless victim.
There's conflict right off the bat, because the MC is trying to get home from a late shift at work before midnight of a full moon. He gets stuck in an elevator with some poor lovely older lady with an "unfair injury" (she has terminal cancer). The MC desperately wants to leave the elevator before he turns. He can't, though, and resigns to his (and the lady's) fate. He decides that the least he can do is bring the woman some inner peace before her end. He helps her come to terms with her husband's death, her daughter's distance, and her terminal cancer. Then he turns into a werewolf. Conflict, and resolution, with a tragic ending (because it's a horror).

Is this what you were looking for, Steven?
I just have to say, that I love the term MC to describe the Main Character.

Maybe, it's just the rapper in me.

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Old 02-04-2015, 12:13 AM   #17
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Thanks, Steven!

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MC is a throwback from prose-writing. That's what all the other writers used, and it kinda rubbed off.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:08 PM   #18
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When I'm working out my story structure I use a technique from Save the Cat! and make a little card for every scene. Then I force myself to describe the conflict in each scene, and who is conflicting with whom.

Sometimes I discover no conflict, in which case I sadly have to trash or rewrite the scene.

It's a very good technique for winnowing out elderberries.
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