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The Biggest Mistake Even Expert Writers Make

The Biggest Mistake Even Expert Writers Make

I recently tuned in to a new TV series that caught my attention, as it was adapted from a bestselling novel. I was curious to see how the creators would bring the story to life on the small screen. Adapting a book into a movie or television series can be a challenging task, especially in the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood. However, my intrigue was particularly piqued by the question of whether the show would maintain its momentum and keep my interest throughout. As someone who had read the novel, I remembered losing interest about halfway through the story, so I was eager to see how the adaptation would handle this. Book Writing Company.

Faithful Adaptation

To my surprise, the TV series was a faithful adaptation of the novel, which I’m sure would have made the author very happy. However, my excitement was short-lived as the series began to lose its spark around two-thirds of the way through. I knew exactly what went wrong—the main character had become too complacent in their journey.

In his book “Story,” Robert McKee talks about the principle of antagonism and how it plays a crucial role in creating an intellectually and emotionally compelling story. He argues that the protagonist and their story can only be as interesting as the forces of antagonism make them, which is a powerful statement. This may come as a surprise to many writers who have been taught that character development is the most important aspect of storytelling. There are countless resources and techniques available to help writers create realistic and well-rounded characters, from their dietary habits to their deepest fears and even their family history. But McKee’s principle of antagonism shows how important character development is in a new way.

Antagonism In Storytelling

McKee has a valid point, and it’s important to consider the role of antagonism in storytelling. Antagonism doesn’t have to be limited to a traditional villain; it can be any obstacle that challenges the protagonist. It can be external, such as a rival or enemy, or internal, such as a personal struggle or fear. Audiences crave to see their heroes tested, pushed to their limits, and struggling to overcome challenges. This is what makes a story truly engaging, and it’s what defines the hero’s character. Though it may sound a bit sadistic, the reality of storytelling is that the hero’s journey is defined by the forces of antagonism that they have to face.

Bird Box

That’s why I found the TV series, just like the book, lacking in interest. The hero’s journey did not have enough conflicts or obstacles. This is why the show fizzled out two-thirds of the way through. A great example of masterful use of antagonism is in Josh Malerman’s novel “Bird Box.” The forces of antagonism not only define the hero, Malorie, but they also become more intense as the story progresses.

The story begins with a catastrophic event where creatures appear all over the world and anyone who looks at them goes insane, forcing Malorie to navigate this new world with her eyes closed. Along her journey, she encounters other survivors who have taken shelter in a house and covered all the windows.

Conflicts and Tension

However, there is discord among the members, and Malorie must deal with it while also considering her pregnancy. The story takes a twist when a new character, Gary, arrives and turns out to be bad news, causing more conflicts and tension among the group. Despite being kicked out, Gary and one of the house members continue to antagonize everyone, including Malorie, adding to the intensity of the story.

The climax of the story reaches its peak when Gary opens the door of the house and the creatures enter, resulting in chaos and destruction. Malorie is the only one who survives. But the story doesn’t end there, as it then shifts to a later time when Malorie and her two children are trying to escape on a boat down a river.

Constant Tension

The readers might expect some respite from the constant tension, but the author keeps the pressure on by introducing new obstacles and challenges. The river is dangerous, and the creatures are still a threat, making it difficult for Malorie to keep her children safe and blindfolded. The story keeps its tension high until the very end.

Wow, those are some truly compelling obstacles and challenges! It’s clear that the author uses the principle of antagonism to create a captivating and intense story.

Negative Elements Of Your Story

The key takeaway here is to focus on the negative elements of your story, as they are the ones that will leave a lasting impression on your audience. A scene where the hero is taking a break, enjoying a peaceful dinner, for example, is not likely to be remembered as much as the obstacles and conflicts that the hero faces and how they react to them. These are the moments that will keep your audience engaged and invested in the story. For further details click here, Book Publishing Agent

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