My brother Warren is a very gifted screenwriter and we have spoken many times over the years about story structure. In Shakespearean drama and the classic three act story structure, the hero of the story faces some key conflict in act two, after we discover his motivation in act one. The protagonist seeks some goal, confronts the antagonist and then it plays out in the third act as either a comedy (he gets laid) or a tragedy (he dies). The conflict is typically man-versus-nature, man-versus-man or man-versus-himself. It’s difficult to discern in act two whether the hero is winning or not. Regardless of whether it’s a comedy or tragedy, the protagonist is getting his ass kicked.