Monday, March 3, 2014

Plotting with Frozen {Part 3}

**This post will contain spoilers from the move Frozen, so read at your own discretion.**

I thought I was done with my Plotting with Frozen series.  The posts take a lot of time to write and I wasn't sure if you guys were enjoying them/learning from them.  But then Krissy commented on my last post asking for a new installment in the series.  So here you go!

In case you missed the previous posts, you can read Anna, The Hero here, and Elsa, The Anti-Hero here.

So, Kristoff is what you would call a helping character, or, more formally, a secondary character.  This means that he is not the main character of the story.  But--and this is something crucial to writing great secondary characters--Kristoff thinks he's the main character.  He's the character of his own story.

Also, as a helping character (that is, a character who generally helps the hero of the story) Kristoff is also a friend and assistant in Anna's goal.

Act 1:
  • In the beginning of the story, all is well and good.  Cute, toddler Kristoff with cute little Sven are making their living as ice harvesters (Or whatever that occupation is formally known as.)

  • Jump forward 10-ish years and you have the Inciting Incident.  In case you haven't gathered it yet, the inciting incident is how most stories start off.  Kristoff isn't actually present during his own inciting incident.  For him, the inciting incident is when Elsa freezes everything in the middle of summer.  As you can imagine, for someone who sells ice for a living, the world suddenly freezing might be a problem.
  • So now, Kristoff has A Goal.  He needs to find a way to make a living.
  • Initial Success!  This strange, probably clinically insane girl shows up with a way to bring back summer.  As an added bonus, she buys carrots for Sven among other things.
  • But then Kristoff hits a Minor Failure. He looses his sled.  But that's okay because that brings a . . .
  • Minor Success.  Anna says she'll buy Kristoff a new sled.
  • But then we hit the Initial Failure.  Kirstoff thought he knew how to stop winter, but it turns out he was wrong.  The plan that's been carrying Kristoff all of Act 1 just let him down.
Act 2:
  • Stakes are Raised.  Now it looks like Anna is going to die.  This is bad, bad news.
  • New Goal.  Kristoff knows someone who knows how to cure Anna.  He has to get her to the trolls.
  • Minor Failure. Snow monster chases them.
  • Minor Success.  Kristoff and Anna get away from the snow monster.
  • Success of New Goal. Kristoff gets Anna to the trolls and they know how to help!
**Okay, so mostly I just wanted to include this video in the post because it's great!**

Act 3:
  • Stakes are Raised.  We know know for sure that Anna will die if she doesn't get help.  And she needs to get back to her true love soon.
  • New Goal. Kristoff needs to get Anna back to Prince Hans of the Southern Isles.
  • Initial Success!  Kristoff gets Anna back to her castle.  While his initial goal of ending summer didn't happen, he's changed enough to care more about Anna's life then about his lively-hood.
  • Plot Twist: Kristoff realizes that he is in love with Anna.
  • Climax: Kristoff races back to Anna, only hoping he can get to her in time.

That's Kristoff's basic plot.  The think I really want to stress is that Kirstoff has a plot.  He has goals, motivation, and stakes just like Anna.  In the first act, Kristoff isn't helping Anna for the point of helping her.  He just wants summer back.

If you compare Kristoff's and Anna's plot, you'll see that the major things are in both.  They both have failures and successes.  The both have goals and things at risk should those goals fail.  That's what makes a great secondary character.

What do you think?  Do you see how Kristoff is the hero of his own story?  Are there any major plot points I left out? Are there essential plot details that Frozen doesn't have? Anything that's a little confusing? Leave a comment and let me know!  

Just so you know, comments seriously make me happy.  If I'm debating on whether or not to do a similar post (like a Plotting with Frozen {Part 4} With Prince Hans, the Villain) A single comment could be the difference between me writing a post or not.

On another note, March's Teen Books Chat is tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.  The topic is Movie Adaptations of YA books.  Just use the hashtag #TBkChat. Click here for more information.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I'm really enjoying these Plotting with Frozen posts. They're interesting and helpful! I'd like to see a fourth in the series, if you're willing to take the time to write it.

  2. That was really great! Thanks so much for doing these; they really help me understand characters. And I would love to see one about Hans.

  3. Definitely do it! I love these posts. It's really fun to see how good plotting contributed to Frozen's awesomeness.

  4. Ditto the ladies above! I really enjoy these posts, as they make me think about the movie in new ways.

    Gah, I keep missing the Teen Book Chats! I make mental notes about them, and then miss them. Maybe next time.

  5. Please do Hans! I love these!


Comments are awesome, rudeness is not. 'Nough said.