I have written many articles on the craft of storytelling over the years.
Certainly, the web is chock-a-block with free and paid advice on the subject in the form of more articles, books, and courses.
Given the availability of this learning material and the willingness of students of writing to read it, we should all be absolute masters of the craft.
So, why aren’t we?
The truth is that much of the material presented in books and courses lacks a pointed approach to the storytelling craft, a focus on effective integration of the various story elements.
Yes, we learn that stories comprise of a three, four, or five act structure. And yes, we are told what an inciting incident, a turning point, a character trait, and the theme, are.
But do we truly understand, at a deep, almost subconscious level, how they work together to produce a successful screenplay or novel?
Without an intimate and near replete understanding of how one narrative component flows into another to produce a network that is bigger than its parts, we will always fall short of mastering our craft.
Having covered the most important narrative elements, often more than once, we will now turn our focus more sharply than ever before on the relations that exist between them.
Integrating your Storytelling Elements
For example, can you describe in detail the flows 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.
Catch you next week.
Integration refers to the deep level understanding in storytelling of the relations that exist between the narrative elements that form the structure of a story.