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Writing Sequel-Oriented Screenplays

A screenwriter must give his screenplay an open-ended resolution in order to write sequels to that script. In this type of resolution, only the main conflict is resolved. The long-term conflict remains unresolved.

Additionally, the action is always driven by character. While the story in a sequel changes, the main character is constant. In the romantic comedy, Bridget Jones's Diary, a thirty-something British woman named Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) goes on a quest to improve herself and find the love of her life.

Bridget ends up rejecting the man she has chosen as her lover because she doesn't believe he totally accepts and loves her. This open-ended resolution gave birth to the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bridget's saga continues in the sequel as her relationship paranoia drives the action and keeps her on a quest for the perfect mate.


To create a screenplay with an open-ended resolution, ask yourself several questions:

Who is your protagonist? Describe this person's physical and psychological
     characteristics, as well as his or her main
character flaw.

2.) What is your protagonist's goal in the story? What is he or she trying to
     achieve? Describe the antagonist (villain) who tries to prevent your
     protagonist from achieving this goal. Who is the antagonist? How does he
    or she create conflict for the protagonist?

3.) When does the story take place? Does it take place during modern times,
     in the distant past, or in the future?

4.) Where does the story take place? Describe the geographic location.

5.) Why do the actions of the protagonist determine how the main conflict of
     the story is resolved?

6.) How does the protagonist resolve the conflict? Can the protagonist
     resolve the conflict in the story and still be capable of becoming
    entangled in a similar conflict later in his or her life?
This is the key
    element in creating an open-ended resolution. This type of conflict will
    enable you to
write a sequel to your screenplay using the strong protagonist
    you created and a similar plotline.



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