Does the Antagonist have to pursue the Consequence?

If I have robbers steal a car and cops who are trying to get it back and catch those responsible, that sounds like everyone’s got a goal of Obtaining. I believe the robbers would be Antagonists (they Avoid the cops) and the cops would be Protagonists (they Pursue the robbers), and I can see the cops trying to avoid a Consequence of Becoming (maybe they’d get fired or demoted if they fail) but the robbers aren’t working towards Becoming since their interest is in getting money for the car and not getting caught. Is that ok or must the Antagonists’ goal = Consequence?

Alternatively, would the Consequence be Obtaining since the bad guys want money and the cops don’t want to lose their jobs? I don’t know what a Goal of Becoming would be in this case.

Assuming the goal of the story-and not just the police inside the story-is to Obtain the criminals who are motivated to Avoid capture, then the criminals would probably be just fine with Failure to Obtain the criminals and thus suffering the Consequence of the officers Becoming demoted. Or they might be fine dealing with the Consequences of not Becoming rehabilitated, or not Becoming a prisoner, or whatever.


Because of the nature of the relationships between a Protagonist and Antagonist and Goal and Consequence, it can appear as if the Antagonist is “for” the Consequence.

  • USS Callister: Daly “Think more highly of me” (Consequence of Conscious)
  • Shawshank: The Warden "Fear me (Redemption lies within the Bible) (Consequence of Subconscious)
  • Death of Stalin: Zhukov - a coup is in order here (Consequence of Doing)

But it’s not a hard and fast rule.

It’s more important to keep their motivations consistent (Pursuit and Avoid), to have an actual Consequence to balance out the Goal.