Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The 5th step The goal changes Storyteller's Log 1-15-2013
If you know anything about physics or animation timing of a bouncing ball, or if you've ever thrown a ball up into the air you know what happens to it. It comes back down. Our character thinks they've achieved their goal. Let them think that. Let them bask in the glory for a while.
Ok, that's enough. But then the story needs to start moving again. A story is like a shark it needs to keep moving or it dies. That sounds familiar, didn't Woody Allen say that in Annie Hall? Oh, he said it about relationships. But it applies equally to stories.
So something has to happen to allow the character to see that what they thought was the goal is actually empty and not fulfilling. It might be an event or another character who shows them where they really are. Remember, they took the wrong path to get there so, of course, they've arrived in the wrong place. Their goal was like a "hot air" balloon and now the air is cooling and they're sinking fast. Hence, the metaphor, "You're full of hot air."
How could they have achieved their goal if they didn't learn the lesson? I told you the lesson would return. This is one of the weaving threads of the story.
So a ball going up will lose energy and come to a stop along the Y axis. Succumbing to gravity it will begin to fall.
A ball going up is a simple case. Characters are more complex. Yes, gravity affects them too, but they'll try and do something about it. Remember those cartoons where the character runs off a cliff. Not until they realize it do they begin to fall. What do they do? They try to fight it by scrambling.
Our character now realizes that what they thought was the goal was actually walking off a cliff. So what do they do? They scramble to try and stop their fall.
Going back to our physics metaphor, when an object falls, it's falls at the speed of gravity.
As we continue to map our character's ups and downs we see they're in trouble now...