Jasmine's pond of dreams

Jasmine's pond of dreams

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

6th step Empty Success Storyteller's log 1-16-2013

So our character has seen that the goal they've quested so hard after was not what they expected. It was a fool's mission, a get-rich-quick scheme. So they start crashing down, accelerating at the speed of gravity. Things start unraveling.

Things start unraveling? We're learning about story weaving. Is unraveling part of the process?

The Animator's Eye clip available on YouTube
Score by Hans Karl 

What happens on this descent? How do these parts weave in with the rest of the pattern of our story structure? So far we've seen that each piece is logically connected and progressively leads to the next. They're connected in sequences of causality. Cause > effect. In storytelling terms, this is setup and payoff. We set up a cause and later pay if off with the effect of that cause. We may also need to plant extra information so we don't surprise the audience with something out of the blue.

We've set up that the character has ignored the lesson of the story and traveled up the wrong path. In life, whenever we act there are consequences to our actions. We may hurt others feelings or make them mad. Our character probably has done both and now has to face the music. The character might try a last ditch attempt to stop his or her fall but they'll probably use their old defenses and make matters worse, way worse.

The character hasn't learned the lesson, their enemies are stronger and their friends are abandoning them.

Since we're mapping the ups and downs of the character, the audience will follow the character. They will follow the character with one caveat,  they are not the character. They know more than the character. The audience is more like a good friend of the character who knew they were doing things wrong but were helpless to stop them. 

This is our dramatic irony in action. We want to help them because we care about them. Haven't you even seen a horror movie and spoke out loud, "Don't go in the basement?" And what do they do? They go in the basement. But if they didn't go in the basement, would we care about the story?

So, where is all this leading...


  1. Fantastic blog, Francis! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I just received 'The Animator's Eye' from Amazon today - it's excellent, thanks again for all your great work!

    1. You are very welcome, David. I have loved doing animation since I was 12. It's really cool now to share what I've learned. With the internet, it's humbling to hear how many people all over the world that have learned from me or been entertained by the films I've worked on.