Avengers: Infinity War – What Makes a Good Story?

Have you seen the Avengers: Infinity War? Because I have and I need to talk about it. But I’m not doing a review of the movie Instead, I wanted to talk about it in the viewpoint of a story-teller and why this movie has done everything right. Before I go any further I do have to warn you that many spoilers lie ahead, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen the movie yet because this is not a movie you want to have spoiled.

Now I know the plot of this movie was not perfect, and I think that can be said for almost any story. There are going to be a few glitches, and those glitches have been pointed out to me, but I can’t get past the fact that this was one of the most gripping movies I’ve seen in a long time, so I want to take the time to talk about why.

Make a Character’s Worst Nightmare Come True

Whenever it comes to writing a gripping book, I’ve always talked about how you have to put your characters through the ringer. In order to get a great twist into a story, you must discover your character’s worst fear and make it come true. How does this happen in the Avengers? Killing someone you love.

  • Gamora & Peter – Gamora asks Peter to kill her if Thanos captures her and when he does, he’s faced with actually following through on that promise. He loves her and now he has to kill her. And of course, if you’ve seen the movie you know how that went…
  • Thanos & Gamora – Thanos scarifies Gamora in order to get the soul stone. He had to kill the only person he loved. Why Thanos, why???
  • Wanda & Vision – My personal favorite. With the mind stone being a part of Vision, the only way the Avengers could keep it away from Thanos was to destroy it, but Wanda was the only one able to destroy it, making her kill Vision in the process. Unfortunately, Thanos ruined this death by turning back time, taking the mind stone, thus killing Vision again.

Comedy

I’ve never laughed so hard at a movie that also made me cry. Watching all the character’s interact made me want to watch the movie over and over for the one-liners. With what ended up being such a dark movie, these bits of comedy were necessary to make it so the audience didn’t walk out hating Marvel for what they had done.

Make the Audience Interact

Did you watch the movie and find yourself screaming at the screen? Where you annoyed? That’s a good thing. That means you, as the audience, got very deeply involved in the story, which made you emotionally invested in the move. That’s something all writer’s strive for when people read our books and the best way to achieve this is through our characters. Iron Man is my favorite, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get really mad when I saw him get stabbed. On that same note, I love Spiderman, so I was a mess when he started hugging Iron Man saying he wasn’t ready to go. A mess, such a mess…

Shock Value

So how do you get an emotional reaction out of your audience? Well, you shock people. How do you shock people? You kill them. Sometimes they’re main characters. Does that work in every situation? No, but I tend to commend those who kill off their main characters. It’s a bold move to say the least.

In the end, all these things I’ve talked about end up rolling into one thing: the shock value. When you keep you’re audience guessing, they’re going to keep watching. And that’s how you tell a good story.

 

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