The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Mummy (Brendon Frasier version) was on this morning, and I stopped and watched a little bit of it (always have to see the part where Rachel Weisz announces her pride in being a librarian). But today I suddenly noticed that the bad guy doesn't show up till well into the movie. Before that, we see him in the prologue, but he's not present or acting against the MC until much later, maybe even halfway in.

But the movie really moves. Why? I was thinking that there are actually four groups working against each other, rather than just good guy vs. bad guy. It seems very complicated, looking at it that way. There's the good guy group, and of course the bad guy mummy and his various evil bugs and skeleton thingees. But then there's a group of treasure hunters who start off as sort of enemies, sort of rivals to the good guys. And there's a group of natives who fight both the treasure hunters and the good guy group and try to kill them.

So before the mummy comes into the story, the tension is caused by the other three groups fighting against each other. What's interesting is when the real bad guy, the mummy, shows up, the storyline doesn't need the two non-good-guy groups as antagonists anymore. Those other two groups have been a major part of the movie for at least an hour (?). However, now they aren't needed for tension, so each is suddenly used in a different way as far as moving the story forward. The natives join the good guys, and the treasure hunters are offered up in service to the storyline.

It feels like there's something important here for me to pick up, but I'm not sure what it is. It's something to do with switching gears and changing antagonists. If you think about it, that's hard to do without being choppy or making the reader/viewer feel like they're suddenly into a different story from the one they started with. Not to mention, the real antagonist/bad guy is someone the other characters aren't even aware of till he shows up. How do you make that work?


1. Do the stakes need to rise to a higher level when the real antagonist comes in?
2. How do you keep up tension before he comes?
3. What do you do with the old antagonists when the real one shows up?
4. What kinds of things that would make the reader put down the book when the antagonist changes?
5. Does the MC's goal change when the new antagonist shows up?

re. #5, in this movie the characters' goal is to find treasure. At the end, they mostly come away without any, but everybody's happy and the viewer is satisfied. Why? Does it have to do with that idea of the reader's goal for the character being different from the character's goal for him/herself?*

Lots to think about, here.

*article by Robin Catesby at

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