I have written many articles on the craft of storytelling over the years. Certainly, the web is full of free advice on the craft in the form of articles, videos, and the like.
Given the availability of this material and the willingness of new writers to study it, we should all be masters of the craft.
So, why aren’t we?
The truth is that much of the material is not presented in a way that allows us to fully integrate it.
True, we learn that stories comprise of a three, four, or five act structure. And yes, we are told about the various beat-sheets , about the inciting incident, the turning points, character traits, the theme, and the like.
But do we truly understand all this at a deep level so that our theoretical knowledge flows into practical knowledge which manifests in screenplays or novels?
“Without an intimate understanding of how to integrate narrative components, how one flows into another to produce something that is more than the sum of its parts, we will always fall short of mastery.”
Having covered the most important narrative elements, often more than once, we will turn our focus more sharply than ever before on the relations that exist between them.
Integrate your Storytelling Elements
For example, can you describe in detail the connections that constitute the relationship between theme and character? Or character and backstory? Or how the inciting incident is related to the first turning point in a story?
The answers to these and other questions are important if we are to achieve an integrated understanding of our craft.
If you’ve answered no to some of these questions, be sure to watch this space.
Integrate your skills by developing a deep level understanding of the relations that exist between the narrative elements of a story.