Jasmine's pond of dreams

Jasmine's pond of dreams

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The fourth step- Reaching the goal. Storyteller's log 1-12-2013

Cut back to our character fumbling toward their goal. They've been persistent and eventually you have to let your character achieve their goal. Why? If you don't your audience will feel cheated.  You were leading them on to expect it, right? That's what the ups and downs were teasing them about.

They reach their goal but you can't make too big a deal about it. Again, why?  There are three reasons: one relates to the structure, the second relates to the story needs and the third is about dramatic irony. In an earlier post, we looked at Aristotle's mapping audience involvement over time. As long as the audience is engaged with dramatic narrative questions, they will stay engaged. When the narrative questions are answered, our interest wanes because there's nothing holding us anymore. We have closure, so tension disspates.  

When Remy, the rat cook, and Linguini, the new chef get proof that Linguini is the true owner of the resturant we have a happy ending. The problem is that happy "endings" are not supposed to be in the middle of the movie. It's like the movie starts up again and we still have another Aristotle plot curve to overcome.

The second reason, that we can't make a big deal about their goal, is that not all the characters are happy about the characters goal. The character might be really happy, but they're not noticing what's going on around them. 

Iggy always wanted to be on top of the world with his name in lights

The third reason, is dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows more than the character. This provides another source of tension for the audience- they know the character has been taking the WRONG PATH.

There are two that know sometimes amiss. The audience knows. And one of the other characters knows. This is another character who has already learned the lesson, the same lesson that main character ignored. Later we'll learn more about the specifics of this journey. For now, we're exploring the overall shape of our structure.

In the beginning we set up what was at stake if the character succeeds and if they fail. We've now shown the audience what will happen if they succeed. They've hit the glass ceiling the we set up.

Can you put together what happens next? That's the beauty of this structural shape, everything is organically connected. So it guides the mapping out of your story.

Here's some clues for what happens next. A few cliches come in handy...

"Be careful what you wish for."

and "What goes up..."

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