Battle, John Truby, The Anatomy of Story, p. 300

The battle is the final conflict. It determines who, if anyone, wins the goal. A big, violent conflict, though common, is the least interesting form of battle. A violent battle has lots of fireworks but not much meaning. The battle should give the audience the clearest expression of what the two sides are fighting for. The emphasis should not be on which is the superior force but which ideas or values win out.
The battle is the funnel point of the story. Everything converges here. It brings together all the characters and the various lines of action. It occurs in the smallest space possible, which heightens the sense of conflict and unbearable pressure.
The battle is where the hero usually (but not always) fulfills his need and gains his desire. This is also where he is most like his main opponent. But in that similarity the crucial differences between them become even clearer.
Finally, the battle is where the theme first explodes in the minds of the audience. In the conflict of values, the audience sees clearly for the first time which way of acting and living is best.
CASABLANCA
At the airport, Rick holds a gun on Renault and tells Ilsa she must leave with Laszlo. Rick tells Laszlo that Ilsa has been faithful. Laszlo and Ilsa get on the plane. Major Strasser arrives and tries to stop the plane, but Rick shoots him.
TOOTSIE
During a live broadcast of the soap opera, Michael improvises a complicated plot to explain that his character is actually a man and then pulls off his disguise. This simultaneously shocks the audience and the other people on the show. When he’s finished, Julie slugs him and leaves.
The final conflict between Michael and Julie is fairly mild (Julie’s punch). The big conflict has been repleaced with a big reveal whereby Michael stripes off his disguise in front of cast, crew, and a national viewing audience.
One of the brilliant touches of this script is that the complex plot that Michael improves for his character tracks the same process of female liberation that he has undergone by playing a woman.
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