Tennessee Screenwriting Association

Conversations From Hollywood: Stakes Are High for Protagonist


Guy1: What’s the threat to the protagonist?

Guy2: We don’t need a specific threat. It’s never addressed.

Guy1: Is there a threat to the protagonist?

Guy2: There’s a threat to all of them [the characters].

Guy1: What is it?

Guy2: It’s not important. We don’t need to define that. The audience doesn’t care.

Unlike the above conversation, the stakes for the protagonist do need to be high. If he fails or succeeds the result needs to be huge. And that needs to be well defined for the audience to give the audience one of the most compelling reasons to CARE about your protagonist.