1. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    Goal, Antagonist in paranormal/supernatural mystery?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by StoryWeaver, Oct 18, 2013.

    I have always found the story goal and story antagonist to be a little more ambiguous in paranormal/supernatural mystery/thriller [SNT] type plots (e.g. The Eye, The Return [Sarah Michelle Gellar], Dark Water, The Grudge); not elusive, just a little different than e.g. a heist plot (Oceans 11) or a kill the monster plot (Alien), etc.. Curious what others think. Seems to me in an SNT the protagonist (e.g. Jessica Alba's character in The Eye) has a 'goal' of figuring out what the paranormal visions are all about, that she is experiencing; same with The Return, or with Dark Water. Thus they become 'solve the riddle' plots, goal is to figure out the supernatural visions as they escalate in intensity. But then who is the antagonist that opposes that 'goal'? The ghost? I have also wondered why the ghost does not just appear and tell the protagonist wtf is going on, where the ghost's body is, etc-- but of course that would make for a short storyline and there would no mystery. Is the 'antagonist' more so the hero herself, struggling with her own intelligence to solve the riddle? But then there often seems to be an intense 'Battle' plot point where hero and ghost collide, e.g. in The Grudge where the creepy girl with distorted limbs goes after Sarah Michelle Gellar as she tries to burn the house down, or in Dark Water where the creepy girl attacks Ceci and then Jennifer Connelly's character, or in The Ring where the creepy girl confronts Naomi Watts. (hmm, seems you better always have a creepy girl in an snt, a creepy wet ghost girl).
     
  2. redreversed
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    redreversed Active Member

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    You don't always need an antagonist in the traditional sense I'm sure.
     
  3. S.Chou
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    S.Chou Member

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    It seems like you should maybe watch some originals instead of remakes ;)
     
  4. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    No, except some very rare exceptions, the templated formulaic system for screenplays/films works, that is why you see it over and over and over and over and over and over. A screenwriter friend of mine finally sold a spec screenplay to Disney for high six figures once he realized that and templated the genre he was writing, followed the templated plot points, templated hero characteristics, etc. It is what I do now for screenwriting. Templating does not mean you can not have an interesting story, just that it is built using a template from previously successful similar stories. It was the pros do.:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  5. StoryWeaver
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    Exactly, and that is what I find interesting about SNTs; in almost every other genre you have a physical Antagonist with a face. But with SNTs the antagonist is often the protagonist herself, struggling to progress through the 'Solve a Riddle' plot. Sometimes in romcoms the protagonist is also their own antagonist (but often there are two co-protagonists that can function as antagonists for each other, albeit with one main protagonist).
     

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