Monday, November 26, 2012
Lost in the story- Storyteller's log star date 11-26-2012
Lost in the story. What does that mean? If your audience is lost in your story, that is a great thing. It means that they are totally engrossed in the imaginary worlds that you've created. This is exactly what you want.
You also don't need to suspend your disbelief. I've never gone into a movie theatre and yelled out, "Stop the projector!, I forgot to suspend my disbelief." I wouldn't even know how to begin to suspend my disbelief, do you? When I'm "lost in the story" the only way I come out is if the director does something stupid to bump me out of it, like a jump cut, or if I have to go to the bathroom.
But there is another sense of being lost in the story, when you're writing a story and don't know what to do to fix it. This is a horrible kind of being lost in the story. Unfortunately, its very common. Every movie I've every worked on our whole crew has been lost in the story at times. For those of you who work in animation you know how often we'll do act one over an over and over and over. And then when we finally get to act three we realize we have to redo act one again to fit with act three. We all longed for the day when we could just put the whole movie up as fast as possible and then critique it. There's a reason for this that we'll learn along the way.
Is this destiny?
I know when I work on my own stories I get lost in the story. What do I do next? Where do I go? Does this even work? Should I add another character, a car chase, a song? Well, one of the places I went was to map my way was screenwriting books. I've read thousands of them. (Well, maybe a hundred, maybe twenty) but it feels like thousands. Each one has made me a better writer and storyteller. Each one has it's own unique take on storytelling that has something valuable to offer. And each one shares certain assumptions, some dating back as far as Aristotle.
Well, I had an intuition that there had to be a better way. I went down many dead ends but also learned insights along the way. I read stuff no animator would read. Survey question: How many of you have read, Gregory Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind? What can I say, I'm weird that way.
As I promised, at my Creative Talent Network Animation Expo presentation, I'm going to share with you the writing process of my next book on my new theory of story. My students helped improve my first two books. I would love your input and feedback. Don't be shy.
So join, Iggy, the impulsive pig, Scared Bunny and me as we search for the untold secrets of storytelling.
You really didn't think I'd tell you it all the secrets in the first blog did you? What kind of storyteller would I be if I did that. Scheherazade knew the secret of storytelling is story delaying. Leave your audience with a cliff hanger.
That way they'll stick around to see what happens.