No personal blog crapola.
Just one guy's quest to unlock the mysterious art of storytelling on screen.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Signpost 2: Throw Many Spanners

Plans exist only to go horribly awry.

Want to bore your audience? Have the hero map out a plan and then have the hero execute it flawlessly. Let the yawns commence.

The more that goes wrong for your hero, the more chance of conflict, and the more dramatic your story. Having your hero map out a plan sets up expectations in the audience about what should happen if everything goes to plan. Of course, your job as a storycrafter is to ensure very little goes according to plan. Your secondary task is to figure out how to make things go awry in unexpected and thrilling ways.

Example (from memory): La Femme Nikita. Her boss instructs her, "Once you make the hit, head for the bathroom. You can escape through the window." The assassin makes the hit, flees to the bathroom, yanks open the window — it's bricked up from the outside!


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