Home » Thaus Primer: Effective Storytelling for Screenwriters (& Novelists) by Martin Thau
Thaus Primer: Effective Storytelling for Screenwriters (& Novelists) Martin Thau

Thaus Primer: Effective Storytelling for Screenwriters (& Novelists)

Martin Thau

Published
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
39 pages
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 About the Book 

WHICH MATERIAL IS SUITABLE FOR AN ENGAGING STORY?Excitement results from contrastSatisfactionClosureRelevanceGENRESLoveAdventureInvestigationChaseClarificationSublimeAristotle’s dramatic patterns*Simple*Complicated*Gripping*SentimentalHOW DOES ONE DEVELOP A STORY?Suspense regarding an occurrence or decision*Title*Promised decision*Purpose*Doubt*Suggestive representationSuspense regarding a clarification of meaning*Reconstruction*Surprise vs. SuspenseStarting at the EndVarying levels of knowledge between the audience and the heroVarying levels of knowledge between the charactersEmpathyComic conditionExpectation vs. DoubtIncreasing SuspenseCourse of action*Expectation*Enter doubt*Complications*ReliefQUESTIONNAIRE for developing or assessing your story for the screenGOOD EXAMPLES Action Idea - Step Outline - Screenplay ScenesQuote from RETRACING ACTIONRetracing action, on the other hand, excites the interest of the viewer in a different way. The decisive event towards which progressive action develops happens at the beginning of a retracing action. It’s the first thing the viewer comes face to face with, but without the preparatory steps leading up to such result. Therefore, it surprises, even astonishes. The viewer is then primarily waiting for the explanation of the causes of this surprise. He is awaiting a scene which will provide this explanation.Whereas in a progressive story we see a fate unfolding itself and being sealed in real time, the major incidents of a retracing plot have taken place before the beginning of its telling, during which comprehension successively occurs.For example, the main character of a story discovers that something has been stolen from him. No suspense preceded this misfortune, i.e. the character didn’t expect to be robbed. Almost like in a blind person who has been slapped, the unexpected stroke of fate causes suspense regarding the answer of the question: Who robbed me? When did it happen? How did it happen? The robbery victim looks here and there. Maybe he discovers tell-tale footprints in front of his door, and asks the neighbours if they have seen anyone. He retraces the course of what happened, i.e. its history.By comparison, in another story, the plan or goal set by the hero at the beginning leads him to carry it out bit by bit until at the end he completes the plan or reaches his goal. The deaf and dumb woman decides to study law, ignores her father’s resistance, successfully registers at the university although she is already 30, studies and practices until she can finally pass the state exams. This action is not retracing or explanatory but instead, progressive, because its decisive event, passing the state exams, waits in the future. In order to make retracing action out of it, one must conceive the development differently- for example, the father of the young woman gets into difficulties with the law. His daughter warns him about a certain procedure and thereby saves his interests. Her knowledge of the correctness of a certain procedure is only possible when she is in the position to interpret the law. But she has no idea about these matters! Or maybe she does? Retracing action begins with just such an amazing fact, and then searches for an explanation, which is usually to be found when discovering the causes or history of the surprising event.