Screenwriting : Today's Wish and Creative Tip by Laurie Ashbourne

Laurie Ashbourne

Today's Wish and Creative Tip

From Zero to Hero Our protagonist is often blankly referred to as the hero. It’s important to remember this term shouldn’t apply until the end of your story. Often times this casual term is in the writer’s mindset from the moment the idea is born, and as a result the main character has a difficult, meandering growth spurt – if any at all. If a story is written with the assumption that the main character is a heroic, where’s the drama? If their heroics are on the scale of a super hero, saving cats and old ladies from speeding busses, those acts should somehow be tied to the hero’s own emotional goals. THE INCREDIBLES works so well because the heroics of Mr. Incredible are actually destroying his personal life – UNTIL he welcomes his personal life into the action and the family becomes heroic together. So even if your main character is Mr. Incredible, he still has to be the equivalent of Mr. Loser until the climax of your story. Have an incredible day!

Shari D. Frost

this is actually my one gripe with The Martian. what was Mark Watney's flaw? he's so perfect. yes, the movie's entertaining. but wouldn't it have been so much better if we weren't so sure Mark Watney was up for the challenge?

Laurie Ashbourne

Yep. It happens a lot with astronauts and servicemen. Same thing with Apollo 13, Jim Lovell certainly steered them back to earth safely and the film was expertly directed and acted, but at the end of the day, Lovell is a forgettable role because he as a character did not change.

Brian Shell

Interesting post Laurie... the Transformational machine. Another interesting tidbit is that the actual astronaut who helped with Apollo 13's safe return was my grad school adviser (in electrical engineering), and he's now a Dean of Engineering... though he admits that he has a hard time watching Apollo 13 due to the embellishments made that detoured away from the actual events as he lived through them.

David Levy

Some heroes are too obvious. I created a protagonist who not only has to deal with new super powers, but has low confidence and has ben bullied all his life. Even though he has abilities, he still doesn't believe in himself until that time comes where it all finally comes together for him. The imperfect protagonists/heroes have some of the better stories.

Laurie Ashbourne

I bet your grad school advisor has a much more compelling, personal take, on the events, Brian!

Shari D. Frost

I almost mentioned Apollo 13, Laurie, it's so true! But Gravity got it right. Astronauts can be flawed. They're human, right? I'm just surprised no one in Hollywood caught that the protagonist had no flaw.

Brian Shell

Laurie, I have 2 DVD's of recordings he allowed me to record about his adventures in NASA. In 1996, I had an idea for a space-based love-story, and he was kind enough to enlighten me with 2 interviews... some really tremendous details. This past January, I shared some of it with my engineering students, and most didn't seem too thrilled (to them, it seemed (shall I say) "boring")... but a few really and truly appreciated it. Go figure...

Fiona Faith Ross

Love your daily inspirations, Laurie.

Leontien Parlevliet

This is what I read in that article about the Martian too. That your protagonist has to go a long way before he or she reach their aim

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