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Midpoint False Victory is a Defeat?

 
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Caden Pearson
Leopard


Joined: 06 Apr 2017
Posts: 36
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:23 pm    Post subject: Midpoint False Victory is a Defeat? Reply with quote #50725

If my falsely-accused hero's external goal is to find the real killer and prove he is innocent, and someone else is found to be the killer at the midpoint (the wrong person set up by the killer), is this a false victory or defeat for the hero?

On one hand, he has what he wants (innocense proven) but on the other hand, the killer is still out there and the wrong guy is taking the fall.


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James Patrick Joyce
Liger


Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 1179

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Midpoint False Victory is a Defeat? Reply with quote #50726

Caden Pearson wrote:
If my falsely-accused hero's external goal is to find the real killer and prove he is innocent, and someone else is found to be the killer at the midpoint (the wrong person set up by the killer), is this a false victory or defeat for the hero?

On one hand, he has what he wants (innocense proven) but on the other hand, the killer is still out there and the wrong guy is taking the fall.


You have two external goals:
1- find the real killer
2- prove he is innocent.

This is clouding the issue. If his main goal is to prove his innocence then the script has used a deus ex machina to save him, which is not good.

If his main goal is to catch the killer (you say "find", but I doubt his goal was to know where the killer is, so much as see the killer behind bars. Specificity is important), then nothing has changed. The killer is still out there and he knows it.

If the main character doesn't know the real killer is still out there, then you have a case of deus ex machina saving him and the killer getting away with it, which sounds like a dramatic disaster.



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dawilliam
Bengal Tiger


Joined: 20 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50740

Quote:
If my falsely-accused hero's external goal is to find the real killer and prove he is innocent, and someone else is found to be the killer at the midpoint (the wrong person set up by the killer), is this a false victory or defeat for the hero?


If its a WHYDUNNIT? the protagonist is searching for TRUTH to a MYSTERY. The protagonist himself also takes a DARK TURN, almost becoming the villain himself. In this situation yes, its a false victory because the wrong "TRUTH" has been found.

The question is; how does he know its the wrong person? and why would he go to such lengths to find the real killer if he is now off-the-hook? Why would the audience care?


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Caden Pearson
Leopard


Joined: 06 Apr 2017
Posts: 36
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50746

Quote:
If its a WHYDUNNIT? the protagonist is searching for TRUTH to a MYSTERY. The protagonist himself also takes a DARK TURN, almost becoming the villain himself. In this situation yes, its a false victory because the wrong "TRUTH" has been found.


It's more of a DWAP than a WD, although it has elements of both.

Quote:
The question is; how does he know its the wrong person? and why would he go to such lengths to find the real killer if he is now off-the-hook? Why would the audience care?


He comes to believe his father is the killer and while he still has his doubts, the police uncover evidence at dad's house. Because other things don't add up and some questions remain unanswered, the protag continues looking, while the police feel they have their guy.

So as much as he thinks his father has done it, whom he has a very fractured relationship with, he's still somewhat motivated to keep looking for answers.


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dawilliam
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Joined: 20 Oct 2015
Posts: 235
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50747

Quote:
So as much as he thinks his father has done it, whom he has a very fractured relationship with, he's still somewhat motivated to keep looking for answers.


Ahh, makes sense if the wrongly accused is his father.


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RobbRoss
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012
Posts: 1655

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50749

Along the lines of James, it sounds muddled. With a False Victory in this kind of story, the protag is a little closer to the objective. Here, there's a partial victory with the protag no longer wanted, yet he continues on his own to find the killer for a new reason. The changing of the reason is the problem. With a False Defeat, the protag is a little further from the objective. Here, the Midpoint doesn't push him back.

What is the purpose of the father possibly being the killer? Is he the B Story? Where's the drama if the relationship is already fractured?

Is this like The Fugitive where Harrison Ford has to find the real killer in order to prove his innocence? Note how the finding and proving go together and they peak close together near the end. Ford's reason remains the same from beginning to end, it's the action that changes (from him on defense in the first half to offense in the second half).

Quote:
It's more of a DWAP than a WD, although it has elements of both.

This could be the problem. Is there a movie or two you can reference that has what you're going for? The Fugitive is a DWAP. Simple. That Ford is looking for his wife's killer does not make it a DWAP-Whydunit hybrid. Make sure one genre is being satisfied to its depths and not that two are getting partial treatment. After satisfying one properly (and assuming a good story that's well-written), it doesn't matter that some parts resemble other genres.


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